BMCL insists 3 baht a share
for subway buyout--challenges government to pay or make good
their threat to create another system along the same route
- translated and summarized from Manager
Daily, June 7, 2004 and Bangkok Biznews, June 7,
BMCL said the price for the stocks to be sold to MRTA will be
3 baht/share since the government has deprived BMCL of the chance
to make money so the high price tag is for compensation.
BMCL challenged that the government to come up with a system
parallel to BMCL tracks--with connections to other system while
isolating BMCL tracks. This type of measure would forever severe
the relationship between the public and private sector for making
Commentary: Even though the stock price of
BMCL is too high, the heavy-hand methods against BMCL and Ch.
Kanrchang PCL to deprive the Democrats of having the financial
resources to challenge TRT's supremacy is too blatant to be
acceptable because TRT is using the Bangkokian's sufferings
for political gain. However, the delays on the Taksin and Samrong
extensions will cause a backlash against TRT. It would be much
better if the government just comes up with a simple majority
by holding 51% of stock, but TRT has the strong intention to
grab all the shares to give to their cronies in the same way
as the privatization of PTT, TOT, and AirportThai.
No wonder then that the EGAT privatization is bound to be a
total failure because too many people are opposed to the plan.
Same can be said to the pan to nationalize and then privatize
Even though the BTSC and BMCL (or even the commuter networks
of SRT) will be forced to merge in the same way as Hong Kong
MTR and Kwangtung Rail (East Rail + West Rail) by market demands,
the government should never meddle in the process for their
own gain. Otherwise they will suffer from political defeat as
BMA-MRTA setting up motorcycle taxis around
Subway Stations - translated and summarized
from Manager Daily, June 8, 2004
Farcino Pharmacy aiming for new branches in
the subway - translated and summarized
from Manager Daily, June 8, 2004
The BMA City Clerk said BMA and MRTA are preparing motorcycle
taxis around subway stations and trying very hard to prevent
mafia from grabbing motorcycle fleets. This can be done by picking
existing fleets of motorcycle taxis to be employees of MRTA
where they receive a salary, other welfare benefits and insurance.
MRTA and BMA police will arrange the place for parking taxis
and motorcycle taxis, bicycles racks, and new orders for feeder
Farcino (local franchise of Phamarcy) said they are going to open
branches of Farcino at the following subway stations: Phetburi,
Kamphaengphet, Ratchadaphisek, Lad Prhao, and Thai Cultural Center.
in the subway--Not an easy game! -
translated and summarized from Matichon,
May 30, 2004
The subway is going to become a reality soon and Nestle, Maeng
Pong, Yamazaki (Thailand), 7-11 (Thailand--run by the CP Group)
as well as bakery and ice cream shops (Swensen & Aunty Annie--run
by Central restaurant, a subsidiary of Central Pattana) have
rented space inside subway stations with high business potential.
However, it will take lots of time to boost the daily passenger
to reach goals. Even BTSC has only 380,000 passengers a day
with an average ticket price of 20 baht even though BTSC initally
targeted 600,000 passengers a day with average ticket price
of 26 baht.
This lower than expected numbere of daily pasngers have forced
many shops inside skytrain station to go out of business.
Mass transit systems like the Skytrain are for those who have
a salary of at least 15000 baht a month--those who may have
private cars aready. So far Skytrain has an inadequate number
of gates with escalators. Most passengers decline to use automatic
bank exchanges to break down large bills into coins since they
have crumpled banknotes.
MRTA will have a really hard time boosting the number of passenger
to reach 200,000 a day. Even Yum Inernational (the local franchise
holder of KFC) said they expect more revenue from KFC branches
close to subway stations than retail shops inside subway stations.
Oishi group (the local franchise of Oishi restaurant) said they
will wait until the numebr of daily passenger is high enough.
There are only 40% of possible shops inside Skytrian stations.
Central Patthana agree that most subway passengers rush from
one place to another and shops take a long time to become successful.
Only shops in the station with high potnetial (Mochit - Victory
Monuyment - Siam) will be profitable. Not surprisingly, stations
like Phra Khanong and Saphan Kwai are virtually ghost stations.
The high rent rates also deter many people from setting up the
shops inside subway stations--1500-3000 baht/sq-m compared to
2500 baht/sq-m for grade-A zone in Central Department Stores
(especially true for Central Lad Phrao).
Disputes on advertising inside subway stations and tunnels already
creates tussles between BMCL and MRTA. The telecom installation
also creates a war of words between TOT and BMCL. The retailing
inside subway stations will be another ticking time bomb for
BMCL--ready to explode after July 1.
Suriya speeding up bidding
on 13-station Purple Line to Bang Yai to counter oil shock
- translated and summarized from Siam
Turakij, May 23-29, 2004
Suriya is Speeding up MRTA subway extensions: Bangyai Line (Purple
Line) and Ban Khae Extension (Blue Line) as the way to counter
the current oil hike. Bidding for the Bang Yai line will be
held in October 2004 and the contractor will be signed in May
2005 and the Bangkae Extension (Hua Lamphong - Bang Khae) will
It will take three years to finish the first leg of the Purple
line while it will take five years to finish the Bangkhae extension
of the Blue line. Bangyai line is all elevated while Bangkae
extension has to be underground when it passes through Rattanakosin
There will be 13 stations for Bangyai Line - after Bangsue:
1) Tao Poon (near Taopoon Police Office)
2) Wongsawang (near Big C Wongsawang)
3) Nakhon In (the station at the road to Wat Nakhon In)
4) Rewadee (in front of Soi Rewadee - through soi to Bang Kwang
and Nonthaburi Pier)
5) Khae Rai (Near New Nonthaburi Government center)
6) Sri Pornsawan (near Jusco Rattanathibet)
7) Phra Nanaklao Bridge (should be called Sanambin
Nam to differentiate from Saphan Phra Nanaklao on the western
8) Saphan Phrananklao (Bangyai side)
9) Rattanathibet (Rattnathibet Road)
10) Ratchaphruek Village (should be Bang Yai)
11) Wongchai Nakhon Village (should be Ratchaphreuk since it
is close to Ratchaphruek Intersection)
12) Bang Buathong Station (near Bang Buathong Intersection)
13) Bangyai (near Bangyai Sport Complex - Terminal Station with
land expropiration for the new maintenance center (to complement
the Huay Kwang Main Depot) as well as a Park and Ride facility
to pick up passengers from Lad Lumkaeo, Pathum Thani, Bang Yai
and Bang Buathong)
Commentary: The delay on joint ticket implementation
between Skytrain and Subway has already frustrated Skytrain
passengers even before the full service of Subway.
Buying the subway and building
the extensions - translated and summarized
from Prachachat Thurakij, May 27-29,
2004 and Than Setthakij, May 27-29, 2004
Local banks (SCB, KTB, KBank) have very strong interest to grant
more loans at special interest rates for MRTA expansions and
MTB is supporting the plan for purchasing BMCL (KTB is one of
Local banks have sent financial auditors to check MRTA balance
sheets and check the foreign debts and financial situation.
MRTA governor said the price for BMCL stocks would be 2 baht/share--very
high compared to 1.50 baht/share purchased by Natural Park PCL
since MRTA would like to give some profits to those shareholders
who have already purchased BMCL stock to encourage more selling.
Therefore, MRTA is aiming to negotiate with shareholders and
creditors since it is much easier to negotiate through the creditors
and shareholders than the owners.
The MRTA Board will come up with the resolutions for 91 km of
expansions with a price tag of 300 billion baht on May 31 and
then the MRTA Board resolution will be submitted to MOTC before
sending to the cabinet.
MRTA is waiting for 386 million to fund the
detailed design (300 million baht) and the land expropriation
(86 million baht) for the subdepot and maintenance center as well
as the stairways for elevated sections.
|For the 91-km extensions, there
are two major sections:
1) These sections already have through studies:
1.1) Southern extension of Blue line (Hua Lamphong - Bang
Khae) - 4.8 km underground and 9.1 km elevated -> total
1.2) Orange Line (Bang Kapi - Sam Sen) - 18.5 km underground
and 1.5 km elevated
1.3) Purple Line (Bang Yai - bang Sue) - 20 km all elevated
1.4) Purple Line (Sam Sen - Rat Boorana) - 9 km underground
- 6 km elevated total 15 km
|2) Additional New Section
2.1) Blue Ring -> Bangsue, Charan Sanitwongse - 13.1
km - all elevated across Chao Prhaya at Bang Or
2.2) Bang Bumru Extension of Orange Line (Sam Sen - Bang
Bumru) - 2.5 km underground (with underwater tunnel) and
1.5 km elevated - total 4 km
2.3) Samsen Connector of Purple Line (Bangsue - Sam Sen)
- 5 km all elevated (Actually there should be a 1.5 km underground
section when it has to pass the main gate of Sukhothai Palace
(Palace newly renovated for the Crown Prince) near Watchira
The purple line (Bangsue - Wongsawang - Phra Nanaklao - Bangyai)
will be executed first since the elevated tracks are much easier
MRTA System Maintenance Director said the Radianz Networks is
going to finish the installation of the mobile phone antenna inside
the station by the end of June 2004. After that, it is up to the
telecom companies whether they are going to pay 300,000 baht/month/station
to rent the space for installing telecom substations.
However BMCL complained that MRTA has not transferred the area
to BMCL yet. Even worse, during the decoration as well as the
maintenance, they found several kinked power lines inside the
Commentary: The interchange stations at Sanghee
Intersection, Bang Plad Intersection and Tha Phra intersection
are too critical to be abandoned.
Subway extensions delayed
due to confusion and red tape - translated
and summarized from Manager Daily,
May 9, 2004
MRTA Governor said MRTA has to submit a report to MOTC so as
to get cabinet approval on the budget for subway extensions
(Hua Lamphong - Bangkhae, Phra Nanklao - Rat Boorana). While
waiting, MRTA is hiring a consultant to examine the results
from the existing studies and make a new cost estimation so
that they can start the project immediately and fulfill the
Even though the Traffic Policy Office told the public at large
that the subway extensions have been approved by the cabinet,
it is only an announcement causing lots of red tape when asking
for a budget since there is actually no cabinet resolution to
back up the announcement.
It seems to MRTA that the Traffic Policy Office is telling a
big lie to the public with impunity. MRTA has to get the routes
approved first before starting the construction. Even though
there are financial resources available, it is up to the government
to either borrow for MRTA or ask MRTA to borrow the money on
However, MRTA is asking for the budget from the budget bureau
to make a detailed study as well as studying the social impact
and the land expropriation. The budget would be 300 million
baht to hire the previous consultant to handle detailed studies
along with designs of the projects to to speed up the project
and be done in eight months. After ironing out those details,
MRTA will call a new bid for the contractors to handle the projects.
Commentary: MRTA is feeling the same bitterness
as BTS (the Skytrain company) when their extensions have been
delayed even though the government and Traffic Policy Office
(actually another government mouthpiece of propaganda) make
a strong claim that the project will be done in six years. However
they have created more red tape which they are not supposed
to do if they want the project to be done in six years. If the
government really wants to win both the hearts and minds of
Bangkokians, they must cut red tape to speed up the project
even though the routes will pass the Opposition Party's houses
instead of passing the cabinet member's houses.
MRTA Park and Ride parking rates proposed
- translated and summarized from Matichon,
May 8, 2004
MRTA Board are proposing the parking rates for the park and
ride to promote more usage of the subway system.
1) 2.5 baht/hour -> 25 baht/10 hour for those who have Subway
Smart Card Tickets
2) 20 baht/hour for those who are not subway passengers in all
stations except the following stations: Sukhumvit, Phetburi,
3) 30 baht/hour for those who are not subway passengers who
park in the following stations: Sukhumvit, Phetburi, Sam Yan
These high rates will discourage those who want to park overnight.
These parking rate will need cabinet approval to be enact.
and the subway - May 4, 2004
Wisarut reports: Siam Turakij
still writes negatively about the subway, but at lower tone
due to the high popularity of the subway as well as positive
responses despite the malfunction of brakes and the screen doors.
They said in the latest issue (April 25- May 1, 2004) that:
"Bangkokians, you better wake up about your popular MRTA
Subway! It costs 100 billion baht. You could create two sets
of motorways from Chaing Rai to Sugai Kolok for that amount--or
even a 4-lane highway with a total distance of 5000 km - 60
km/province - or 13 billion baht/province."
However, I would respond to the Siam Turakij editor that:
If the SRT workers and SRT unions still use corruption, collusion
and nepotism as well as sticking with old mindsets [such as
refusing to cooperate with the Skytrain/Subway by upgrading
Phayathai and Asok to full-fledged stations, not issuing joint
tickets with Subway/Skytrain, not creating park and ride facilities
as well as the convenience connection with bus stops, not constructing
via ducts to pick up passengers around Pratunam/Phetburi area,
very poor design viaduct connecting Donmaung Airport with Donmuang
Railway stations], they do not deserve trillions of baht investment
through my tax payment.
Because of my strong response toward the posts from SRT workers
who stick with their old mindsets, the SRT webmaster deleted
my post on SRT webboard.
Investment on new motorways? This only pleases those automobile/oil
vested interests as well as highway contractors. Many politicians
get started as road contractors as the first step to become
test run review - Matichon Daily,
April 23, 2004
of the subway - Siam Turakij,
April 18-24, 2004
MRTA rejecting the price offered by BMCL
- translated and summarized from Komchadluke,
May 1, 2004
The MRTA Governor said the BMCL stock price is too high--100%
profit is too much. Thus MRTA is threatening not to extend the
contract. Suriya said the final conclusion for Subway/Skytrain
purchasing will come out soon.
BMCL has invested 7 billion baht and the 3 baht/share of BMCL
will enable BMCL to reap a profit of 14 billion baht which is
too much. BMCL is claiming that the system will have a future,
but have doubt if the future is coming from the private sector
or at the expense of public sector. If the problem persists
MRTA will not extend the contract.
April test run review
- translated and summarized from Matichon
Daily, April 23, 2004
There are tens of thousands of people went down 15-25 meters to
the subway stations to escape the flaming April weather and have
a free ride despite brake malfunctions.
After passing the gate, they found the concourse area is very
wide--18-25 meters wide and 150-200 meters long--stunning lots
of people because of the size. The concourse section is for PR,
control rooms and ticket vending machines which allow passengers
to purchase either smart tokens for single trips or smart card
stored value tickets. However, the TVMs are not delivered from
Klong Toei, Sukhumvit and Lad Phrao has sections for stores.
There are 3 forms of platforms:
1) Staggered platform at Silom, Sam Yan, and Hua Lamphong
2) Central Platform at Hua Lamphong and most of the stations
3) Side platform at Bangsue and Klong Toei
The interior part of subway rolling stock is almost the same as
Skytrain rolling stock. Only the seat and handles are blue. Not
a surprise since Siemens is the producer of both Skytrain and
Subway. The special feature is the wheelchair lockers for the
It is pretty fast--80 km/hr reaching the destination in 25 minutes.
The actual time from end to end of the system is 35 minutes--almost
the same as the Skytrain.
There were tens of thousands of subway passengers a day reaching
80,000 people by April 18. Most people said "they like the
subway system as an alternative to driving."
For those who miss the April test run, the May test run will be
held during the rush hour period during designated dates and times
for about 10 days [This
has already been postponed]. If both BMCL and MRTA could make
a settlement, even those who have no access cards will be invited
Mr [Im]ron Binmadnee (a Muslim Bangkokian) who brought his family
from Ram Indra to have a free ride told the Matichon correspondent:
"It is a good alternative for us - even though I ride the
Skytrain from Morchit to work at Chitlom. The subway is faster,
but very loud during the trip. So, a good thing about the subway
is the convenience. The only worries are about the safety despite
the PR effort. Even we get stuck on the Skytrain, we can still
see, but the subway tunnel is dark..."
Criticisms of the subway
- translated and summarized from Siam
Turakij, April 18-24, 2004
Professors in Traffic Engineering, the Parliament's Traffic Committee,
Pol Gen Salang Bunnag have the following criticisms of the subway:
1) No telecom stations installed - creating mobile phone blindspots.
2) The stations are too big and wide for getting much area for
renting. Even Piccadilly Station of London Tube is not that big.
3) The distance between stations is too far way in the central
business district area. The distance for each station should not
exceed 2000 feet (600 m), but it is 800-1000m (some even 2.2 km
for Kamphaengphet to Bangsue, Queen Sirikit to Sukhumvit and Lad
Phrao to Phaholyothin. It could cause passengers to become exhausted
before reaching the station especially in the case of those who
live between Sirikit-Sukhumvit station as well as those who live
between Lad Phrao-Phaholyothin.
Same can be said for those who want to change the train at Silom-Salaend
interchange station. They need to have the stamina of Hercules
to change the train at Silom-Saladaeng since they have to climb
42 meters up and walk about 500 meters at the ground level to
reach the station. Even escalators are not much help at all.
4) Queen Sirikit, Lad Phrao and Sukhumvit Stations should be elevated
since the underground sections will cause lots of troubles. Generally,
the subway stations should be 800 m away. Thus the ventilator
has to be designed to ventilate the air at a maximum distance
of 400 meters. The distances between Queen Sirikit Station and
Sukhumvit station as well as the Lad Phrao-Phaholyothin stations
are 2200 m away - thus the ventilator is not powerful enough to
handle the tunnel section.
5) Stacking platforms like Samyan, Silom and Lumphinee will cause
inconvenience for changing to other modes of transportation especially
in the case of Silom station.
6) Ticket Prices--The rate of 14 to 36 baht (12 to 31 baht for
first year) as well as half the price for children under 12 and
those over 65 are still too expensive since MRTA has not come
up with special passes as BTSC has already. The 30-day passes
as well as 1-day pass and 3-day pass have drastically cut ticket
Commentary: This shows the bias against the
subway by Siam Turakij editors. These are very corrupted
ideas imported from America during the 1960's which are obsolete
today. Furthermore, stopping MRTA-BMCL from making commercial
development is actually the way to cripple the subway system as
the way to please those Automobile interests.
Roadshow along the subway route
- translated and summarized from the MRTA
MRTA and BMCL feel very happy that 90,000 passengers have trusted
the subway system as an alternative for traveling around Bangkok
and came to the subway stations to try ride for free during the
April test run from April 13-18, 2004.
Therefore, BMCL is going to set another road show along the route
to attract those who live and work along Subway route to know
how to use the system.
|April 26, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||Fortune Town - Ratchadaphisek
|April 27, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||Lake Ratchada - Ratchadaphisek
|April 28, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||Abdul Rahim Building - Rama 4
|April 29, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||CMIC Buidling [Grammy Entertainment HQ] - Asok
|April 30, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||Olympia Building - Ratchadaphisek
|May 4, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||Lumphinee Tower - Rama 4
|May 6, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||PTT PCL - Vibahvadee Rangsit
|May 6, 2004 - 2:30pm-3:30pm
||TMB PCL HQ - Phahol Yothin
|May 7, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||Silom Complex - Silom
|May 10, 2004 - 11:30am-1:30pm
||Le Concord Building - Ratchadaphisek
wins subway project - The
Nation, April 22, 2004
Subway operator Bangkok Metro Co LTD (BMCL) yesterday said
it had allowed its subsidiary Radianz Communication Network to
provide wireless communications services along its underground
Radianz has hired a sub-contractor to install the antenna system
in the subway, allowing for mobile phone communications along
the commuter line...
Another telecom source said Advanced Info Service (AIS) Plc had
also won a similar deal from Radianz to install a system for its
Without mentioning names, Total Access Communication (DTAC) recently
criticised the project as favouring one telecom company by allowing
it to monopolise fibre-optics installation.
phone service in subway not complete - Siam Turakij,
April 9-16, 2004