Electric tramway project for hearing - Seven routes put up in consultancy report - Bangkok Post, June 22, 2006
A public hearing will be held today to ask residents about
an electric tram project, the island's first-ever mass transit
system. A consultancy group, comprising Pyramid Development International
Corporation, Ecosystem Engineering Consultant and King Mongkut's
Institute of Technology Thon Buri campus, recommended seven routes
for the project, and looked at options including building tracks
underground or on elevated structures.
Three routes--Phuket airport-Ao Chalong, Patong beach-Phuket downtown
and Bang Khu junction-Ao Chalong--were designated as urgent. Provincial
authorities gave the group 17 million baht to study the investment
viability and construction costs.
In its report, the consultancy group proposed two types of trams_one
running on tracks and the other running on concrete roads. It
said construction of an elevated track for the 41-km Phuket airport-Ao
Chalong route would cost 23 billion baht, while an elevated concrete
route would cost 22 billion baht.
A track on the ordinary road surface cost 13 billion baht but
built underground would cost 121 billion baht. Seven tram stations
and one maintenance station would be built on this route, able
to carry 87,000 passengers a day.
On the 18-km Patong-Phuket town route, the investment costs were
10 billion baht for both an elevated track and a concrete road
A track on an ordinary road surface required an investment of
3.5 billion baht while an underground track would cost 58 billion
baht. Four stations would open on this route, which could serve
45,000 people a day.
On the 16-km Bang Khu-Chalong route, investment costs were put
at 9.2 billion baht for both tracks and concrete roads. A track
on the road surface cost 3.4 billion baht while an underground
track cost 51 billion baht. Five stations would be built and the
route could carry 61,000 passengers a day.
Electric trams running on the tracks would cost about 240 million
baht each while those running on concrete roads would cost 25
million baht each.
According to the consultancy group, the total investment cost
for the 41-km airport to Ao Chalong route would be at least 11
Phuket deputy governor Niran Kallayanamitr said the elevated structure
might not be suitable for the island province. The island was
small and tourists might not like the idea. The hearing should
come up with a variety of views on the project.