The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will next Monday begin a six-month test run of its new boat service in Klong Saen Saep, where 12 electric vessels will operate on an extended route from Wat Si Bun Ruang to the Min Buri district offices.
Between 600 and 1,000 passengers are expected to use the service each day when it begins, a BMA source said yesterday.
Each new boat -- with 40 seats and two special seats for disabled passengers -- costs about 8 million baht, while the cost of hiring Chao Phraya Express Boat Co and Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc to operate the service is about 1.8 million baht per month.
The BMA will decide after the trial whether fares will be imposed on passengers immediately or whether free trips will be offered to attract more people, said the source.
Currently, Khrobkhrua Khonsong Co is contracted to operate a boat service on the canal between Phan Fa and Si Bun Ruang temple, in which all boats run on conventional fuel.
The test run is part of the BMA's plan to eventually replace regular boats. The date was postponed after Narong Ruangsi, a deputy city clerk, caught Covid-19.
Governor Aswin Kwanmuang, who was due to preside over the launch, also needs to isolate after testing positive.