Plans emerge for Phuket monorail ,Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen buses

Plans emerge for Phuket monorail ,Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen buses :The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) is speeding up local transport plans at top tourist spots to support economic growth and boost visitor numbers.

OTP deputy director Chaiwat Thongkhamkoon said his team was speeding up studies for transport projects in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen provinces to increase convenience for tourists, which could also help boost the overall economy.

A study on construction of a monorail project in Phuket is 80% complete and will be ready by next month, Mr Chaiwat said.

The findings will be sent to the Transport Ministry for consideration by January.

The monorail will cost at least 20 billion baht and will link Phuket International Airport in Thalang district and Chalong intersections in Muang district, spanning 60km, Mr Chaiwat said.

The system’s 20 stations will include Thanun, Phuket International Airport, Thalang, Thep Kasatri and Si Sunthon Heroines Monument.

Also on the line will be Koh Kaew, Phuket Bus Terminal II, Phuket Rajabhat University, Thung Kha, Old Town City, Clock Tower Junction, Bang Neaw, Phuket Public Library, Saphan Hin, and Sakdidej.

The remaining stations will be Dao Rung, Wichit, Chao Fa (East), Pah Lai, Ban Kok Tanod and Chalong.
Mr Chaiwat said local public transport options at tourist destinations including Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen needed big improvements.

Visitors tend to be restricted to using songthaew, a modified pickup truck with two rows of seats for passengers, which officials believed was too narrow a choice.

Residents in those provinces usually drive cars and motorcycles to get around town, he added.
The OTP is also dusting off Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects in Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai provinces to increase public transport options for tourists, Mr Chaiwat said.

A budget of 30-40 million baht has been approved for studies and design work, he said.

Some studies have been conducted for other transport projects but these were shelved, he added, without elaborating.

The new studies will include construction costs and investment options for the BRT projects, Mr Chaiwat said, and will take about a year to be completed.

The government may invite investors to take part in projects, possibly under a public-private partnership scheme, he said.

The latest study for a BRT project in Chiang Mai is looking into four routes covering a total of 100km.
The routes include the 45km Golden Line linking a stadium to a night-safari, and a 22km Phai Lin Line from Chiang Mai Zoo to Buak Krok, a source said.

The 32km Tab Tim Line will link the 700th Anniversary Chiang Mai Sports Complex to Sam Yak Market, and the 8km Morakot Line will link Thapae to Chang Klan via Charoen Prathet Road, the source added.

The source said the Khon Kaen BRT project would consist of five routes covering a total of 108km.
The Pink Line runs 7km across the city, the 28km Red Line links Sam Ran to Tha Phra, and the 20km Blue Line links Nong Kot to Nong Yai, the source said.

The 36-km Yellow Line links Nam Ton to Sila, while the 27km Green Line links Ban Tum to Bung Neam.

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