Saen Saep e-boat trial disappoints

Saen Saep e-boat trial disappoints

Ridership on the electric boats plying the Wat Si Bun Ruang-Min Buri district office route fell below the expected target as commuters opted instead for faster-moving vessels, according to City Hall.

A month of the trial run saw about 400 people using the electric boats on the route each day on average. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) expected between 600 and 1,000 passengers to use the free service each day.

The route, an extension of the Klong Saen Saep commuter boat network, spans 11 kilometres from Wat Si Bun Ruang to Min Buri district office.

Prapas Luengsirinapa, the BMA's director of its Traffic and Transportation Department, said the ridership during the trial period was disappointing. He said he would ask the district offices the route passes through to promote the service.

City Hall conducted a survey of the trial operation. Some users wanted the boats, currently running at 15km per hour, to speed up to 20kph but slow down when they pass through canal-side communities.

Each boat 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.

Meanwhile, the department has requested a budget from the BMA to dismantle unused piers and landings along Klong Saen Saep to spruce up the waterway.

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