DRT urges partial Pink Line monorail launch to ease Bangkok traffic

Photo by Bangkok Post.

The Department of Rail Transport (DRT) has called on the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to partially open the main routes of the Pink Line monorail to alleviate traffic congestion in the area. The 34.5-kilometre MRT Pink Line is set to connect Khae Rai in Nonthaburi with Min Buri district in east Bangkok via Ram Inthra Road, with an extension also under construction from Khae Rai Station to Muang Thong Thani.

Deputy Director-General of the DRT, Atiphu Jittanukrao, yesterday provided an update on the Pink Line project’s progress, stating that the main route is nearly 100% complete, while the extension is about 20% complete. However, he noted that there are some issues with constructing ascending and descending sections between Chaengwatthana 14 and National Telecom stations due to overlapping structural concerns with other agencies’ projects.

To address traffic congestion amid these challenges, the DRT has suggested a partial launch of the new line, with Laksi and Min Buri stations serving as the two ends of a feeder service for the Green and Red Line systems before a full commercial launch next year, Bangkok Post reported.

“The 3.2-kilometre extension line will have stations at both Muang Thong Thani and Muang Thong Thani Lake,” Jittanukrao said. “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.”

The concessionaire expects that the trial run will be launched in January next year ahead of a full commercial launch in June, he added.

In other news, Deputy Government Spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul announced that the Yellow Line trial will commence on Saturday, running from Lat Phrao in Bangkok to Samrong in Samut Prakan.

Currently, 11 electric train networks, covering a distance of 211.94 kilometres, span Bangkok and its neighbouring provinces, with five more projects remaining 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, Taisaranakul said.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.