Author Topic: Get a ticket to ride everywhere (if things go to plan)  (Read 468 times)

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Offline thaiga

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Get a ticket to ride everywhere (if things go to plan)
« on: January 05, 2012, 10:35:58 AM »
Better transport is coming your way
If things go to plan, getting about in Bangkok will be cheaper and more convenient by 2015.

The timeframe was given by the Pheu Thai Party-led government for the completion and opening of several mass-transit routes.

A plan to integrate major and minor mass-transit networks with a joint-ticketing system as promised by the government will boost the number of city residents using public transport.

Transport hub status beckons for the brave
The joint-ticketing system will ease financial burdens on commuters as they can gain access to all forms of mass transit _ elevated trains, subway trains, buses and boats _ by using a single ticket.

Under the original master plan, construction of 10 mass-transit rail lines in Bangkok and surrounding provinces with a distance of 410km will start within four years and work will be completed between 2015 and 2019. Those electric railway routes will be extended to 464km by 2029.

The mass-transit rail lines require a total investment of 397 billion baht. Two projects are in the bidding stage and six more projects are expected to enter the bidding stage this year.

Authorities have set the timeframe to call bidding for eight projects in 2015. After 2019, five mass transit line extension projects will be built. Of the 10 lines, the Airport Rail Link (Phaya Thai to Suvarnabhumi Airport) has been built and the Light Red Line's 15km section from Bang Sue to Taling Chan is 85% complete.

The other eight projects are the Dark Red Line with a distance of 80.8km, Dark Green Line (66.5km), Light Green Line (55km), Blue Line (55km), Purple Line (42.8km), Orange Line (32.5 km), Pink Line (36km) and Yellow Line (30.4km).

Transport Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat maintained he would go ahead with all 10 mass transit lines as it was the Pheu Thai-led government's policy to improve mass transit services.

All projects would be signed with contractors within three years, instead of four years as earlier set, ACM Sukumpol said.

The minister promised to have construction contracts for 14 projects signed within two years.

He said the ministry has worked out guidelines for the introduction of a flat-rate ticket price of 20 baht for all mass transit services. However, he refused to elaborate on the guidelines.

He shrugged off concerns there might be problems regarding the use of a joint-ticketing system for BTS Skytrain and subway systems as the BTS Skytrain is under the supervision of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, controlled by the opposition Democrat Party.

When the time was right, negotiations on the joint-ticketing system would be held, he said, adding talks would be easier if construction of mass transit networks were completed.

Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning director Soithip Traisuddhi said her agency would set up a unit to manage the joint-ticketing system for the mass-transit system.

The new unit will create a central clearing house to be in charge of the ticketing system.

Before the networks of mass-transit systems are integrated by 2015 as planned, traffic jams are likely to worsen in Bangkok as construction of several railway lines will go into full swing between next year and 2014.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.