The Department of Rail Transport (DRT) is urging the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to partially launch the main routes of the Pink Line monorail in a bid to ease traffic congestion.
The 34.5-kilometre MRT Pink Line will branch out to link Khae Rai in Nonthaburi with Min Buri district in east Bangkok via Ram Inthra Road. An extension is also under construction from Khae Rai Station to Muang Thong Thani.
Atiphu Jittanukrao, deputy director-general of the DRT, yesterday followed up on the progress of the Pink Line project to expedite its commercial launch.
The main route of the project is almost 100% complete, while work on the extension has progressed about 20%, he told media.
However, the project was found to have some problems as ascending and descending sections cannot be built from Chaengwatthana 14 to National Telecom stations due to overlapping structural issues with other agencies' projects.
In order to mitigate the traffic congestion, given these circumstances, the DRT has proposed partially launching the new line with Laksi and Min Buri stations as the two ends of a feeder service for the Green and Red Line systems ahead of a full commercial launch next year.
Mr Atiphu went on to say the 3.2km extension line will have stations at both Muang Thong Thani and Muang Thong Thani Lake.
When completed, the project will help facilitate visitors get to events and conferences organised at the exhibition halls, as well as ease traffic congestion and reduce PM2.5 pollution, he said.
The concessionaire expects that the trial run will be launched in January next year ahead of a full commercial launch in June, he added.
Meanwhile, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said a trial of the Yellow Line will begin on Saturday from Lat Phrao in Bangkok to Samrong in Samut Prakan.
As of now, 11 electric train networks, stretching 211.94km, span Bangkok and its adjacent provinces, with five more projects left to complete the route network.
In addition to the Pink Line and its extension, work on the Orange Line, the Airport Rail Link from Phaya Thai-Don Mueang section and Purple Line is ongoing, she said.