Light rail service proposed for Phuket

PHUKET CITY: A Singapore-based firm has proposed building a light-rail service that would revolutionize transport in Phuket.

The network, which would cost almost 13 billion baht to develop, would connect key points on the island including Phuket International Airport, Patong, Chalong Circle and Phuket City.

Dr Allina Salima of Jade Trust Fund International presented the plan to Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop at Phuket Provincial Hall on April 30.

The proposed network would consist of three lines.

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The first, connecting Phuket International Airport and Chalong Circle, would be 41.4 kilometers long and cost an estimated Bt7 billion.

The second line, connecting Patong with Phuket City, would be 18.4 kilometers long and cost Bt2.8 billion baht.

The third line, running from the bypass road junction though Phuket City to Chalong Circle, would be 16.8 kilometers long and cost Bt2.9 billion.

The three lines would total 76.6 kilometers in length and cost Bt12.8 billion baht to construct, according to preliminary calculations.

The network could be developed as a “closed” system exclusively for use by the network or as an “open” system, which would permit other vehicles to travel along the routes.

Gov Wichai said “Phuket would be glad to invest in a light rail system around Phuket island. This is one of the solutions to traffic problems in Phuket. We would like to support this project.”

Dr Salima said that his company was ready to invest in the project and had a lot of experience investing in other cities.

The company would conduct further research and report back to the province in 30 days’ time, Dr Salima added.

The proposal is not the first of its kind for Phuket, where proposals for various kinds of light rail transport systems date back decades.

A consultant study by a private firm hired by the province in early 2006 concluded that hilly terrain would make a rail route connecting Phuket City and Patong impractical.

The consultants recommended building a single rail link between the airport and Phuket City at an estimated cost of about Bt20 billion.

For details of that report click here.

— Manager online

Phuket News

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