Yellow and Pink lines to begin trial runs this year
The Yellow and Pink monorail lines are expected to begin trial runs in October, with partial operations to start early next year, according to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.
Speaking after inspecting the progress of the lines, Mr Saksayam said passengers can expect to use monorail services some time between January and March.
The 30.4-kilometre Yellow Line will have 23 stations in total, shuttling commuters between Lat Phrao in Bangkok and Samrong in Samut Prakan, while the 34.5km-long Pink Line will have 30 stations, linking Khae Rai in Nonthaburi with Min Buri district in east Bangkok via Ram Inthra Road.
Construction of the 49-billion-baht Yellow Line is 93% finished, while the 52.6-billion-baht Pink Line is 88.5% complete, Mr Saksayam said.
Transport officials estimated the number of passengers in the first year of operation will be about 190,000–200,000 per route, and fares are likely to range from 14 baht to 42 baht based on information published in 2016.
Mr Saksayam said the Department of Rail Transport will hold talks with the system operator to go over the fare structure again.
He added the ministry will negotiate with the operators of other mass transit systems over a possible waiver of entry fees for commuters who change routes on their journey.
Mr Saksayam said construction of the extended section of the Pink Line, between Si Rat and Muang Thong Thani stations, has begun and the work is expected to take three years.
The Yellow and Pink line monorails are part of the Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, a plan for developing primary and secondary public transport networks by 2029.
Both systems are managed by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand.
The Yellow Line has received 28 out of 30 trains from its supplier while the Pink Line has received 26 out of 42, with the remaining trains due to be delivered this month and in October."
Officials have been told to ensure the systems are built in accordance with a universal design with low-access entry and exit points and affordable fares, Mr Saksayam said.
Work on both lines were delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.