Transport officials consider a tunnel under Chao Phraya
Thailand and South Korea have signed an agreement to work together on solving inner-city traffic congestion, including the possibility of boring a tunnel under the Chao Phraya River and creating a bus lane down the middle of Rama IV Road.
Transport permanent secretary Chayatan Phromsorn and Hyun-Jong Joo, an assistant minister at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) in South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding on traffic management and related infrastructure projects on Wednesday.
The move followed a bilaterial agreement between the two countries initiated in February last year.
Transport officials from both nations will now meet and exchange ideas on developing a sustainable and innovative transport infrastructure.
Mr Chayanan said Thai officials hoped to learn a lot from close contact with their South Korean counterparts, who have been responsible for many successful traffic management schemes.
One idea mooted during a number of brainstorming sessions is to tunnel under the Chao Phraya River from near Sathon Road to Bang Na, to relieve traffic congestion in central Bangkok.
Another is to develop an environmentally friendly bus route along the centre of Rama IV Road.
These would form part of a fresh round of infrastructure developments that officials hope will promote the use of the city's public transport network.
The MOT has several congestion hotspots that it hopes the MOLIT can help with, including bottlenecks on the Ratchadaphisek Ring Road (Rama IX, Asok, Rama IV) around Asok Road.
It also plans to seek advice over implementing an Electronic Road Pricing system to reduce traffic in the city.
The two countries expect their talks to spread further than just Bangkok.
Thai officials are considering an expansion of the interprovincial highway network and the general adoption of artificial intelligence systems to monitor and direct transport networks nationwide.
The next meeting is scheduled to be held in May.