Pink spur line 'will benefit commuters'
The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) is rejecting claims that the plan to construct a spur line on the Pink Line electric train network is meant to benefit the private sector.
According to MRTA governor Pakapong Sirikantaramas on Monday, the branch of the Pink Line will benefit commuters travelling along Chaeng Watthana Road to Muang Thong Thani and Impact Muang Thong Thani complex, as well as nearby state agencies and educational institutions, such as the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University.
"Once it opens, the extension is expected to see some 12,700 passengers per day," he said.
Consisting of two stations, the four-billion-baht extension stretches 3 kilometres. Construction is expected to take some 37 months from its start date of June 20, the MRTA governor said.
The spur line will branch out from the Pink Line's mainline at Si Rat station, running along Chaeng Watthana-Pak Kret 39 Road and stopping in front of Impact Challenger hall before ending at its terminus near Muang Thong Thani lake. The MRTA is not obliged to contribute financially to the project, as the Northern Bangkok Monorail Co will shoulder land expropriation and construction costs, as outlined in the contract.
Deputy Pheu Thai Party leader Yutthapong Charasathien had earlier said the project would mainly benefit the private sector, as the extension will boost land prices along the route.
He also pledged to bring the issue up at next month's no-confidence motion against the government.
Separately, deputy permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry and acting director-general of the Department of Rail Transport, Sorapong Paitoonphong, said the Pink Line will open for a limited trial in September.
Monorail services between the 34.5-kilometre-long line between Min Buri in east Bangkok and Khae Rai in Nonthaburi will be free of charge during the trial period, which will run for three months until commercial services begin in December.
The entire line is expected to be ready by mid-2023, Mr Sorapong said.
- Pink Line