Contracts signed to extend mass transit rail line in Bangkok

Bangkok will build another 17 stations to extend the Purple Line commuter rail route connecting the central city and its northern suburbs, as the Thai capital rolls ahead with infrastructure development to make it a more convenient place to live and work.

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) signed three contracts last week with private-sector companies for project management and building supervision. The line extension is expected to open by 2027.  Total cost of the project has been estimated at $75.4 million.

Both foreign and local firms have been involved in supplying technology, equipment and trains in the building of Bangkok’s mass transit system. Mass transit in Bangkok is part of a national infrastructure upgrade worth about $100 billion in which the private sector and foreign investors are participating.

In 1999, Bangkok opened its first commuter rail line, known as the Skytrain, owned and operated by Bangkok Transit System (BTS), a private firm, in the form of a government concession. Since then, another agency, MRTA has added subway lines to the capital and is in the process of developing and building more underground and elevated commuter routes. The goal is to connect all parts of the capital by mass transit rail.

The systems are part of policymakers’ agenda of transforming Bangkok into a green, smart and more livable city in addition to its charms of vibrant culture, entertainment, food paradise, business friendly atmosphere and regional transport hub.

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