BTS contracts to be extended by 40 years

BTS contracts to be extended by 40 years

A train runs above the Kasetsart intersection on Thursday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
A train runs above the Kasetsart intersection on Thursday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will propose to the cabinet the extension of BTS’ operation concession contracts by another 40 years, with fares capped at not more 65 baht per trip throughout the period.

The BTS or skytrain is operated by Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), a subsidiary of BTS Group Holdings, under concessions granted by owner BMA.

Bangkok governor Assawin Kwanmuang said on Thursday apart from the fare cap, BTSC must accept the transfer of 100-billion-baht liabilities.

The debts were incurred by the construction of the new Bearing-Samut Prakan and Mo Chit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot sections.  

“People shouldn’t be taken advantage of and shoulder expensive fares,” he said.

A source at BMA’s wholly owned Krungthep Thanakom Co said the draft contracts for the extension would be tabled to cabinet approval in December and the new rates at not more than 65 baht per trip will take effect on Jan 3.

One of the concession contracts to be extended is for the Mo Chit-On Nut section and the National Stadium-Saphan Taksin section. The other covers the On Nut-Bearing section and the Saphan Taksin-Bang Wa section.

They will be extended by 30 years from 2030-60, or 40 years from this year.

Pol Gen Assawin on Thursday checked the readiness of the northern extension of the Green Line.

Four stations — Phahonyothin 24, Ratchayothin, Sena Nikhom and Kasetsart University (N10-N13) — will open for a trial run on Dec 4, to be presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. People will enjoy free rides on the section until Jan 2 next year.

Four more stations — Royal Forest Department, Bang Bua, 11th Infantry Regiment and Wat Phra Sri Mahathat stations (N14-17) — will open in the first quarter of next year.

All 16 stations on the 19km Mo Chit-Khu Khot stretch will be operational late next year, said Pol Gen Assawin.

BTS has 84 trains and recently bought 46 more — 22 from Siemens, all of which had been delivered, and 24 from CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd of China, 10 of which had been handed over.

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