BTSC says it's ready to invest in 'missing link'
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BTSC says it's ready to invest in 'missing link'

Yellow Line gets off the ground: A Yellow Line monorail train runs above the Chalong Rat Expressway's Lat Phrao section on Thursday. The 30.4km monorail links Lat Phrao in Bangkok to Samrong in Samut Prakan. The one-month free service will start on Saturday. Fares are expected to range from 15 baht to 45 baht. (Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard)
Yellow Line gets off the ground: A Yellow Line monorail train runs above the Chalong Rat Expressway's Lat Phrao section on Thursday. The 30.4km monorail links Lat Phrao in Bangkok to Samrong in Samut Prakan. The one-month free service will start on Saturday. Fares are expected to range from 15 baht to 45 baht. (Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard)

The Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) is ready to invest in a 2.6-kilometre missing link to connect its Yellow Line monorail to the Green Line of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) at Ratchayothin and Lat Phrao stations.

Surapong Laoha-Unya, CEO of BTSC, on Thursday said the extension would benefit commuters.

"We are willing to invest in the project because the extension will benefit everyone. We are ready to discuss the matter with the MRTA," said Mr Surapong.

The Yellow Line links Lat Phrao in Bangkok with Samrong in Samut Prakan. There are 23 stations along the 30.4-kilometre line. The monorail has a connection to the MRTA's Green Line at Samrong station.

The missing link would run along Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok and link to the Green Line at Ratchayothin station.

According to a source, the extension project is worth around 3-4 billion baht. Without the missing link, commuters wishing to switch from the Yellow Line to the Green Line will have to re-route their journey through the MRTA's Blue Line, increasing travel costs for commuters.

The source said if the MRTA agrees with the BTSC's proposal to invest in the missing link, the MRTA would also ask for compensation for lost revenues from its Blue Line.

Mr Surapong said the Yellow Line would kick off a trial service at 9am on Saturday before its full commercial launch around the beginning of next month.

Currently, the BTSC has submitted an estimated fare range based on the consumer price index (CPI) to the MRTA for approval. The rate will be 15-45 baht.

Afterwards, the MRTA will submit the proposal to the Ministry of Transport and the cabinet for further approval.

"The BTSC is ready for the trial run as the safety and facilitation of the project is now provided. The project will help mitigate traffic congestion, particularly during rush hours, on Lat Phrao Road," he said.

The BTSC estimated that it would earn an income of around a billion baht from the launch of the Yellow Line.

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