BMA transferring rail projects to Transport Ministry

BMA transferring rail projects to Transport Ministry

Will focus on expanding existing Green Line

A train travels the BTS Green line at Khu Khot station. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will transfer three planned electric rail projects to the government and instead focus on expanding the Green Line. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A train travels the BTS Green line at Khu Khot station. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will transfer three planned electric rail projects to the government and instead focus on expanding the Green Line. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will transfer three new electric rail projects to the government and focus instead on expanding the existing Green Line.

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said on Wednesday the three projects are the Grey Line (Watcharaphon-Thong Lor), Light Blue Line (Din Daeng-Sathon) and Silver Line (Bang Na-Suvarnabhumi).

He said the final decision was reached at a recent meeting of the BMA’s executive. These three projects would definitely be transferred to the Ministry of Transport. It was more appropriate.

The Silver Line, for example, was designed to link with several existing mass transit lines mostly owned by the ministry. Therefore, the BMA reasoned it would be more suitable for the project to be developed and operated by the ministry as well.

“Once again, the BMA has not terminated these projects, but would rather they be handled by the organisation directly responsible for this area of work,” said Mr Chadchart.

The BMA would now concentrate on expanding the Green Line, he said.

The city was in the process of hiring a consulting company for a feasibility study into building a new extension of the Green Line, from Bang Wa to Taling Chan, in the 2025 fiscal year starting Oct 1 this year, he said.

At this point, the most likely form of investment for this project would be a public-private partnership in which the BMA would not be investing from its own coffers. The BMA would instead give budgetary priority to “a number of other investment projects, such as building a new hospital and improving public utilities, education and quality of life", he said.

The BMA had already proposed the transfer of the three electric rail projects to the government’s committee on land transport system management, which was normally chaired by a deputy prime minister, a source said.

If the committee approves this proposal of the BMA, the three projects would be then automatically transferred to the Mass Rapid Transit Authority, which would later decide which of the projects would be implemented first, and when, the source said.

A BMA study had found that the Silver Line would require an investment of 135 billion baht, and the Grey Line 62.8 billion baht in funding, according to a BMA source.


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