According to the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), the government has earmarked a whopping 640 billion baht next year for new public transport projects.
MRTA governor, Pakapong Sirikantaramas, was quoted as saying, “The construction of the MRT’s Orange Line between Thailand Cultural Centre and Bang Khun Non will require about 200 billion baht, while the Purple Line extension from Tao Poon to Rat Burana will cost about 100 billion baht,” adding, “Additionally, the section of the Brown Line between Khae Rai and Lam Sali will cost about 50 billion baht to build.”
As well as new mass transit routes in Bangkok, provincial cities including Chang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima and Phuket will also see investment in electric rail systems.
A 41.7km tram system in Phuket is currently under review by the board of the MRTA and is expected to cost 34 billion baht.
Mr. Pakapong was also quoted as saying, “Once approved, the project will be forwarded to the cabinet, which will decide when bids for the project will be accepted. The tender process should begin early next year,” adding, “The trams are expected to serve about 40,000 passengers per day, but ridership numbers are expected to triple once more commuters become familiar with the route.”
Another tram system in Chiang Mai is expected to be built at a cost of 30 billion baht.
Nakhon Ratchasima’s line is expected to cost 8 billion baht.
Bidding for the Nakhon Ratchasima and Chiang Mai projects is expected to start in 2021.
As well, the brown line in Bangkok is expected to start construction in 2021. Currently it has been approved by the land transport management committee and is awaiting cabinet approval in advance of the bidding process.
The total being allocated to rail infrastructure is around 422 billion baht.
Aside from rail projects, some of the money will be earmarked for major roads including a new motorway between Cha-am and Nakhon Pathom at a cost of 80 billion baht.
Other roads include an 18km extension of the Rama 3 – Dao Khanong outer ring road at a cost of 30 billion baht, a new elevated toll way from Rangsit to Bang Pa-in at a cost of 30 billion baht and a new major road between the Malaysian border and Hat Yai at a cost of 42.6 billion baht.
A further 42 billion baht will be spent on the expansion of the passenger terminal at Suvarnabhumi airport in order to serve the ever-increasing number of air passengers.