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The Phuket ‘light rail’ may end up being an electric bus instead

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PHOTO: A similar dedicated bus lane system, as proposed as a modification to the Phuket Light Rail project - Wikipedia

The Phuket mass rapid transport system, aka. Phuket Light Rail and Phuket Tram, is receiving more attention as the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand mull more changes to the design. The initial route, which would run from the Phuket Airport, follow the main north/south artery, Thepkasattri Road, then through Phuket Town and on to Chalong circle, has a projected budget of 35 billion baht.

The projected first phase route would run nearly 42 kilometres.

The project, which has only received Luke-warm support from Phuket locals, was discussed in last Tuesday’s remote cabinet meeting in Phuket.

Now the designers are considering moving from a light rail carriage system that would run on rails, to an electric ‘bus’ model that would run along a normal road on rubber wheels. Consultants for the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand say they’re looking to adjust the operating system to reduce construction costs. They cited studies in foreign countries that have adapted to the of use rubber-wheeled electric vehicles and saved both construction and operating costs.

For the Phuket Light Rail project they project savings up to 10 billion baht in construction costs along with cheaper fares. The projected cost savings could total nearly a third of the total projected Light Rail budget.

Critics note that, whether a tram, bus or a light rail carriage, the planned route would do nothing for the island’s tourism industry as the service goes nowhere near Phuket’s west coast. (Of course any light rail would be totally unsuitable for the west coast’s undulating topography.)

Read The Thaiger’s opinion piece about the Light Rail Project HERE.

The draft terms of reference, submitted to the MRTA, don’t specify that the new public transport system must be developed into a train or tram only. According to the latest study, only about 39,000 passengers per day were found to be using the system.

The current consultants are now investigating the merits of a Bus Rapid Transit, but using electric vehicles running along a centre ‘road’ designed to carry just the buses. the final proposal is expected to be proposed to the Cabinet for approval this year and open for service in 2026.

The Phuket 'light rail' may end up being an electric bus instead | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Original concept drawings for the Phuket Light Rail

The transport minister said the details on how to construct the central road, stops and separation from the other traffic, would be a lot easier than a tram or light rail concept.

“Using road medians should not be a problem. The MRTA has discussed with the Department of Highways to dismantle the road medians, rework the road surface and use the barrier between the lanes of the BRT bus and general cars.”

“To use the road median area to develop the (new) BRT bus route, the MRTA must study the opportunity to develop a commercial area or further adjustment.”

The planned north/south route is planned to have 21 stops. In the future, there are also plans to extend the project to connect with a similar system which would travel north of the island, across Sarasin Bridge and into Phang Nga.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Glenn

    Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    almost common sense here. why would any city/country spend vast amt of money on public transport rail system when a)it’s got no tourists to ride it b)the budget doesn’t allow it c)a bus system has more versatility and the route can be redirected to adjust to demand d)a bus system is far lower cost.

    SOMEBODY TELL THE PATTAYA GOVT PLEASE! ! !!

  2. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    A light railway is prefable due to the greatly increased opportunity for graft.the end result is irrelevant.

  3. Avatar

    qwe

    Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 11:27 am

    for decades the tuk tuk mafia has limited public transport and low prices.
    the light rail would be the first sure step of government function.
    difficult to stop with threats to staff or money given under the table to local politicians.
    the realization times are compatible with the possible return of tourism to the island.
    investments in the sustainable future, such as photovoltaic roofs, electric cars, a completely green Phuket, would be an incentive for tourism; easy to realize with public but also private investments or individual citizens.

    continuing on the logic of savings leads to pockets of malfeasance colluded between politics and crime.

    Phuket first all green place in Thailand! Yeah!

  4. Avatar

    Strider

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 8:19 am

    This whole light rail program would be a money pit of corruption. Nobody uses the already in place Smart Buses which do run the west coast. What is needed is to connect Phuket to the rest of Thailand by rail.

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Phuket

Phuket tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends

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Photo by PR Phuket

No, your friends can’t come over. No parties. No drinking with friends. No large gatherings. As part of Phuket’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, local authorities have tightened restrictions and say friends are not allowed to gather at private homes.

“No parties of any kind allowed… No house party, no friends gathering in the residence.”

Along with temporary closures of some businesses and venues, the order says, parties involving alcohol are banned and gatherings of more than 30 people are banned. The only gatherings allowed are religious ceremonies like weddings and funerals.

Foreigners who violate any of Phuket’s disease control measures could be deported and lose their permission to stay in Thailand. On Sunday, 2 British men in Phuket were each fined 6,000 baht for having a “party.” Only 6 people were gathered at the home. Police from the Cherng Talay station came by the home after a call from a neighbour.

Phuket tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 organisers of Phuket’s Kolour superspreader event charged

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FILE PHOTO: 3 managers involved in the Kolour superspreader event have been charged.

As Thailand still wrestles to control the third wave of Covid-19, much of which stems from entertainment venues in Bangkok and a massive party in Phuket, Patong police announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour superspreader event will be charged under the Emergency Decree. The case report was filed with the public prosecutor yesterday according to the Patong police chief, confirming that 3 people will be prosecuted for the event.

The Kolour Beachside Festival was held April 2 and 3 with events at Café Del Mar Phuket in Kamala, and Shelter Phuket Dance and Night Club and Illuzion Nightclub, both in Patong. Before the festival, Phuket had gone more than a hundred days without any new Covid-19 infections, but by April 7 the Phuket provincial Public Health office announced 8 new infections, half of which had been at the Kolour parties. In the following weeks, officials plead for attendees to be tested as infections spread.

Charges were delayed in being filed to the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s office as a special investigation committee was ordered to be created to oversee the investigation at the request of Region 8’s Police Commander. That committee brought together officials from various law enforcement in the area including the Patong Police, Kamala Police, Phuket Provincial Police, and the Region 8 Police to investigate the Kolour event before anyone was charged.

The manager of Café Del Mar, along with the managing director and the manager of Shelter and Illuzion, which are under the same management team, will be charged for the Kolour festival violating Thailand’s Emergency Decree that was declared to help protect the country from Covid-19 outbreaks. A breach of the Emergency Decree can be held liable for up to 40,000 Baht and 2 years in jail under Section 9 of the Decree.

The latter 2 are also facing charges of operating an unlicensed entertainment venue. This carries the possibility of another year in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 baht, in accordance with Thai Law under Section 26 of the Entertainment Place Act.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Road deaths

Phuket woman impaled by steel rod in motorbike accident

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: CCTV footage shows the Woman impaled in a motorbike crash.

Police were called to the scene of a gruesome motorbike accident just after midnight in the Kathu area of Phuket, where a woman was impaled by a steel rod. The 34 year old woman crashed her motorbike into a concrete power pole on Wichit Songkram Rd between the Kathu Shrine and Kathu Municipality. rescue workers responded, and together with police, they arrived to find the woman still hanging from the power pole.

Khanuengnit Onoaun was driving a black and pink Honda Click motorbike and may have been speeding just before being impaled by the rod on the electric pole. Her motorbike was lying nearby the pole with significant damage to the front of the bike and the front wheel.

CCTV footage recovered from the scene suggest that the woman may have fallen asleep and crashed into the power pole. The pole had steel rods protruding from its side that utility workers use to climb when service or repairs are needed to the electrical lines, which is what impaled her when her motorbike hit the pole.

The metal rod pierced the woman’s upper chest and went all the way through her body with about 2 inches exposed on the other side of her as she hung from the pole. Rescue workers could not remove her from the steel rod at the scene of the accident safely and instead chose to cut the rod to take her off the electric pole and into an ambulance. Cutting through the steel took about 5 minutes for the rescuers.

She arrived and was admitted into Vachira Phuket Hospital with the metal rod still impaled through her chest. The hospital had no updates about the woman’s condition after her motorbike crash other than that she is alive and receiving treatment currently. The police plan on questioning her once she has had time to recover and investigating the incident further if necessary.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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