Electric tramway project for hearing – Seven routes put up in consultancy report

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 cost.
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 billion baht.
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.
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