Connect with us

Phuket

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

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

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

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

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Tourism

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp”

Tim Newton

Published

on

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp” | Thaiger
PHOTO: The monsoon waves are starting to hit Phuket's west coast

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model for a no-quarantine re-opening in July will need “a major revamp”. As the Songkran travel bubble bursts and the monsoon season waves start to roll onto the island’s west coast beaches, Phuket’s scheduled July re-boot suddenly seems a long way off.

Minister Phiphat says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

“We are all concerned about the reopening timeline,” he was quoted in Bangkok Post.

But the Minister did acknowledge that, if the 70% vaccination level couldn’t be met, they may consider opening some areas of the island. Exactly how that would work hasn’t been revealed at this stage.

The minister also brought up the ongoing travel bubble negotiations and says he hadn’t heard back from some of the candidates with their reaction to the current outbreak.

Flights in and out of Phuket Airport’s international terminal have been extremely patchy and the flights from feeder tourist markets will need to co-operate with any re-opening plans.

Phuket, whilst suffering a rise in new infections, hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the other popular holiday provinces, like Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).

This year’s Songkran was going to be a major stepping stone for the island’s recovery and many hotels, some who had opened especially to cater for Songkran holiday traffic, noted a lot of cancellations just prior to the break.

But some island hotels have still reported high occupancy rates over the past week. One Manager, who did not want his name published, said that their hotel was almost full with Thai patrons, most who had pre-paid for their flights and accommodation and decided to go ahead anyway.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, says that they are opposed to any lockdown as it would cripple the island, with its tourist businesses already suffering greatly. He stated that 15% of people cancelled their Songkran bookings, while 30% had postponed their trips.

The Sports and Tourism Ministers is still in quarantine after having close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 2 weeks ago.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

Avatar

Published

on

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and ‘Kolour’ events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

Published

on

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

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

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket2 months ago

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

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

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

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending