The Transport Ministry is considering re-opening Bangkok Yai canal to public transport to ease congestion in nearby roads in Thon Buri district.
The canal, about 7km long, connects with the Chao Phraya River and would provide a shortcut for Thon Buri commuters to reach the river and its express boat service without having to brave rush-hour traffic.
The route would run from Talad Phlu to Wat Kalaya on the Chao Phraya River.
Re-opening the canal would also create a new boat route for tourists looking to explore Thon Buri, Deputy Transport Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong said. He said the ministry hopes the boat route would boost the economy of the communities living along the canal.
However, he said there is still a big problem to resolve _ the opening and closing of a water gate in the canal has to be negotiated with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
Boat passengers on the Bangkok Yai canal sometimes had to endure a frustrating wait of over 20 minutes for the water gate to open when the route was last active, Mr Prasert said.
The ministry will encourage the BMA to switch to an electronic water gate system that should require only one or two minutes to open and close the gates.
Meanwhile, the ministry is also considering opening the 6km-long Dao Khanong canal to public transport, Mr Prasert said.
He said the canal will link Chom Thong district with Sathon district. The exact route has not been established yet.
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- Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook