Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Rail goes through its first public hearing, with a few modifications

Thaiger

Published

 on 

Phuket’s light rail/tram, and much-discussed, public transport system has had a round of public consultations to take the project to the next level. At one stage the route started in Phang Nga province but now it’s had a ‘haircut’ and will only run from the Phuket International Airport to Chalong Circle, a distance of some 42 kilometres.

Some of the project’s key weaknesses appear to remain part of the current plans, including taking up lanes and space along some of the island’s busiest existing roads and not being of any assistance to tourists who, predominantly, populate the west coast towns. The route also doesn’t help to link the popular tourist areas to the business hub, Phuket Town.

The revised design for the 42 kilometre light rail system was debated at a public hearing this week with representatives from the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand saying they hope to get approval from the cabinet by the middle of 2021.

The MRTA’s Saroj Torsuwan said the designs of the project had been “tweaked” after discussing it with the Highway Department and the Phuket International Airport management. In both cases, they own the lion’s share of the property that will need to be accessed for the construction and operation of the light rail.

At this stage the MRTA and Thai government are favouring a Public-Private Partnership which would include government funding along with private investment and an offer of returns for the investment over a number of operational years.

The route for the 35 billion baht project takes it from the Phuket Airport terminal, along Highway 4031, turn right to Highway 402 (Thepkasattri Road) and follow it all the way into Phuket Town. The route turns right into Thepsrisin Road, across the Thepsrisin Bridge, then left into Highway 4021 (Chao Fah East road) where it will end at the Chalong circle.

“The design was revised to include tunnels and elevated sections. While the route passing Old Phuket Town will be kept intact, traffic will have to be re-directed. Two park-and-ride stations would be built, one at the Phuket Airport and the other at the Chalong intersection,” he told the Bangkok Post.

The bidding process for the project would take place in 2022. Construction would begin in 2023 and the system was likely to enter service 3 years later. The tram would travel no more than 80 kph and the route would have 21 stations.

Saroj Torsuwan noted that Phuket was experiencing rapid growth and worsening traffic, so an efficient mass transit system would improve the quality of life both for permanent residents and tourists.

Questions remain about Phuket locals using the system instead of their motorbikes. The light rail would require them to forego their point-to-point transport and, instead, ride to one of the 21 stations, pay for the light rail, then pay for a motorbike taxi, or walk, to their destination at the other end.

With a “typical” fare being touted as around 35 baht and up, 5 days a week, that will quickly add up to a big monthly investment for the average Thai worker.

The disruption it would cause during the construction has also been flagged as a problem. Phuketians had to endure up to 2 years of major disruption for each of the 4 underpasses which were constructed from 2013 to 2018. Thepkasattri Road is the island’s major arterial road and the thought of major contraction along the road would be unthinkable for many of the daily drivers who use the road often.

About the proposed track, critics wonder where, exactly, the light rail will “fit”. Are the plans to reduce the number of lanes on the existing roads? The bi-directinal trams racks would take up the space of 2 lanes of traffic.

Some of Monday’s meeting delegates called for more stations to be built in the Thalang district along with elevated sections near the Heroine’s Monument, the revered roundabout that denotes the middle of the island and the intersection of 2 main roads.

Phuket Rail goes through its first public hearing, with a few modifications | News by Thaiger Phuket Rail goes through its first public hearing, with a few modifications | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Edward Reumann

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Hopefully this will be a Domestic project and in no way an extension of the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative aka, Loan Dept Diplomacy. Thailand needs to stay independent and develop as a manufacturing hub of the world.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World24 mins ago

Thai woman tricked into human trafficking in Dubai brought home safely

Phuket1 hour ago

Alleged cable thief busted in Phuket, accomplice possibly still at large

Thailand1 hour ago

Thaiger Bites | Your Feedback and Comments! | Ep. 23

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Guides2 hours ago

Bangkok’s best fresh markets to visit

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 11,252 new cases; provincial totals

World2 hours ago

Tesla stock dive costs Elon Musk $7 billion, World’s Richest Man title

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Kanchanaburi2 hours ago

Kanchanaburi temple that served as a rehab closes amidst shocking abuse allegations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Post-Covid condition MIS-C afflicted 30 to 40 children, 1 death

Thailand3 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | New disease control law, Thai border patrol tightens security | September 22 |

Thailand4 hours ago

Manhunt underway for foreigner who allegedly prepared bread using his feet

Phuket4 hours ago

Burmese man arrested for rape and assault of Thai woman

Guides4 hours ago

Bangkok’s best weekend picnic spots

Guides4 hours ago

The 8 most beautiful natural sights to see in Krabi

Guides5 hours ago

The complete guide for the most unique experiences in Phuket

Thailand5 hours ago

Army provides food for the Rawai Sea gypsy community

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending