New transit master plan to focus on rail network

New transit master plan to focus on rail network

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) yesterday unveiled a master plan on "Transit-Oriented Development" (TOD) policy in which a total of 177 railway stations have development opportunities.

The TOD integrates public transport, especially train systems, into town planning to promote better land use and push economic and social development.

Speaking at a seminar on urban development and transportation systems, OTP deputy director Panya Chupanich said the rail system has been emphasised as the country has made huge investments in the sector.

About 2.7 trillion baht has been earmarked to transform the rail network into the country's core transport and logistics network under a 20-year framework, he said.

Khon Kaen, Ayutthaya and Chon Buri's Pattaya have been selected as prototype cities in which to integrate public transport into town planning, promote better land use and drive economic and social development.

According to Mr Panya, there are five TOD categories.

Khon Kaen and Pattaya railway stations are classified as Regional Centres in the Northeast and the East respectively.

Ayutthaya railway station is classified as an Urban Centre where the size of TOD development depends on the size of the economy in the provinces.

The other three categories are New Town Centres where TOD will involve new rail stations where urban development is limited; Neighbourhood Centres where TOD will focus on districts' interchange stations; and Special Use areas where TOD will target specific industries such as aviation or tourism.

He stressed that TOD projects will be initiated by local communities because they are the beneficiaries and state agencies will provide the necessary support.

He said thee are four steps involved in TOD schemes -- gathering input from stakeholders and working with city planning authorities; drawing up development plans; securing approval and funds from state agencies; and implementing the plans.

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