Purple Line power surge: Bangkok’s MRT sees ridership spike

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The MRT Purple Line in Bangkok experienced an unprecedented surge in ridership, with over 86,000 passengers using the service late last month. This significant milestone, achieved on June 28, is attributed to the integration with a new bus terminal.

The Acting Governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA), Witthaya Phanmongkol explained today, July 8, that the significant increase in passengers was largely due to the Khlong Bang Phai station’s recent connection to the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and Smart Bus terminal. The terminal began operations on June 16, providing commuters with enhanced connectivity options.

The new terminal has facilitated a notable increase in the number of MRT Blue Line passengers transferring to the Purple Line at Tao Poon station, with an uptick of 7.02% or approximately 3,922 additional passengers per day since its opening.

Witthaya reported that on June 28, the Purple Line saw a record-breaking 86,636 passengers, with Talat Bang Yai station alone handling 9,856 arrivals and departures.

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The governor also noted that the implementation of a 20-baht flat Skytrain fare by the government on October 16 last year may have contributed to the rise in ridership. Between October 16, 2023, and June 30, 2024, the Purple Line averaged 64,582 daily passengers, an increase of 6,197 per day.

The 23-kilometre MRT Purple Line, operational since August 6, 2016, features 16 stations and runs from Khlong Bang Phai station in Nonthaburi’s Bang Bua Thong district to Tao Poon station in Bangkok’s Bang Sue district, where it connects to the MRT Blue Line, reported The Nation.

In related news, the Supreme Administrative Court has upheld a previous ruling by the Central Administrative Court, greenlighting the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRT) to ink a deal with Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company (BEM) for the Orange Line extension from Bang Khun Non to Min Buri.

The legal tussle began when Bangkok Mass Transit System Company (BTSC) took the MRT to court, challenging the bidding process for the lucrative construction project. BTSC alleged that the MRT had altered bidder qualifications midway, a move they claimed had caused significant financial damage to their company.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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