Bangkok Subway News – October 2004

Subway: Commercial development begins - new extensions to be approved - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, October 21, 2004
The commercial plan for the Subway stations is in progress since BMCL is proposing more revenue sharing from profit received by BMCL in addition to the 7% from subsidiary which BMCL takes 25% of.
MRTA is borrowing 2.44 billion baht from KTB to buy stock back with the interest rate of MLR minus 1.5% a year as the way to purchase stock as the collateral for the stock purchasing--up to 25% of all BMCL stocks at par. The other 75% of BMCL stocks will be purchased after the meeting with the Nationalization Board. For the stocks sold to N-Park, they have a par price of 1.50 baht/stock. BMCL is a heavy loss if the government is planning to purchase the stock at a price lower than 1.50 baht/stock.
MRTA is approving the plan for the consultant to handle the 23 km Bangsue - Bang Yai line as well as other extensions for another 71 km with a 200 billion baht price tag and the plan to be approved by the cabinet this December.
New extension to be approved in December:
1) Bang Kapi - Bang Bumru (24 km)
2) Hua Lamphong - Tha Phra - Bang Khae
3) Blue Ring (Bangsue - Bang Pho Charansanitwongse - Thai Phra)
4) Last leg of Bangyai Line (Bangsue - Ratboorana)
Note: Comments and Criticism on the subway can be seen here.

Subway notes - November 2, 2004
Wisarut reports: BTS has ceased the shuttle bus service to Queen Sirikit National Convention center after Subway has become a reality. Even though many passengers could ride the Subway to QSNCC, but they will be better off if they purchase a smart card first sine the long lines of passengers at the TVMs and booths will shock passengers who want to pay for tokens instead of smart cards.
On the forums: More complaints about changing the banknotes into the coins during the morning rush hour can be seen here and here. On the other hand, more complains on the shuttle bus services can be seen here. Complains for the stalls blogging the passenger way can be seen here.

BMCL offering an IPO next year after settling on commercial deals with MRTA
- translated and summarized from Manager Daily, October 21, 2004
BMCL said they will offer an IPO in the first quarter of 2005 after settling the commercial deals on the station areas with MRTA.
The average number of passengers during weekdays is 140,000 a day while the average number of passengers during the weekends is about 100,000 a day.
The student discount on the smart cards for those not older than 21 years old will be started in November as the way to boost the number of smart card users from 40% to 80% of daily passengers.
BMCL also asks Siemens to add more handles without adding more holding rails and they have installed additional directional signs (this has been done in Phaholyothin stations as well as in other stations) to clarity exits for passengers.
However, the additional gates at Silom, Chatuchak and other stations along with the underground viaducts to significant buildings will not be started until 2005 since BMCL has to import the machines for Ch. Karnchang.

Subway news - translated and summarized from Prachachart Thirakij, October 25-28, 2004
* MRTA is approving the plan for special discounts for the Subway. The price reduction from November 8, 2004 to March 2005 is as follows:
1) 30% discount for students
2) Non-rush hour discount (10am to 3pm and 9pm to midnight during weekdays and all day during weekends). 12 baht for the first 7 stations and 18 baht for the rest.
3) 150 baht daily pass
These measures are to increase the number of passengers by 33,000 a day during weekdays and by 53,000 passengers a day during weekends
* BMCL will help Traid [advertising company that originally received the contract for advertising on the subway] to lull customers back after the delay on the commercialization deal in Subway stations. MRTA agrees with the deal to give more revenue from BMCL as well as 7% from 25% of the subsidiary profit. MRTA is asking for 2.4 billion baht loan from KTB with the annual interest rate of MLR-1.5% by using MRTA stock as collateral while the rest will need MOF to help MRTA.

Subway Discounts
- translated and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi from Thairath, October 21, 2004
MRTA and BMCL have come up with the 6-month period of discounts to boost passengers.
1) 30% discount for students (up to 21 years old)
2) Non-rush hour rate fro regular customers (10am-3pm and 9pm-midnight for weekdays, 6am to midnight for weekends)
The first 4 stations: 12 baht
More than 4 stations: 18 baht
3) 150 baht daily pass
Commentary: The 150 baht daily pass will work only when this pass is a part of a joint ticket system (with the Skytrain, etc.) which has not been implemented yet.
Progress on Purple Line - translated and summarized from Manager Online, October 18, 2004
MRTA is looking for land proposed for the new mini depot as well as the area for Kae Rai curve so as to start and finish the project Purple Line subway project by September 2008. This project will create more jobs, improve the environment along the tracks, boost the national economy, increase tourists, cut fuel bills and traffic jams.

Anger at the Subway: Can go in, but cannot come out due to token fubah - translated and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi from Thaipost, October 13, 2004
Subway passengers are giving a bad rap to BMCL since they pay the right passenger price, but the BMCL officers give the wrong price to token. Also the officers at the gate said the passengers got the wrong price of tickets and blame the passengers for the incident.
BMCL has responded that they has not received a direct complaint about this ticket issue. Many passengers have complained that buying a token from the BMCL officers caused lots of troubles. Some experienced such wrong ticket price problems several times. TMVs are not working properly so they have to rely on the troublesome token purchase form the officers.
One passengers complained that he tried to go form QSNCC to Ratchadaphisek with a price of 22 baht, but the officers have assigned the wrong station--terminating at Phetburi. So the turnstiles refuse to accept the token so the turnstiles cannot open. They have to pay fine for the mistake they did not make at all.
This incident at Ratchadaphisek Station has caused lots concern, but so far the BMCL officers have asked the passengers to notice what happened to their tokens which is not quite realistic since they are rushing for the train so they will not be able to concentrate on this issue.

Hypnotic drugs in the subway - translated and summarized from Matichon, October 13, 2004
New crimes in Skytrain Subway station--a hypnotic drug that causes people to sign a paper to tap into credit cards and transfer money into thieves' accounts...

Photos of a blind group taking the subway - Manager Daily, October 19, 2004

Purple Line subway budget details - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, October 12, 2004
For the case of the Purple line, the budget details are as follows (unit - billion baht):

Year Budget Detailed Design Survey Land Purchase Construction & Civil Work System Installation Consultant for Management Consultant for Control
2005 1.190 0.350 0.018 0.315 0.472 0.644 0.006 0.105
2006 10.271 0 0 1.272 4.183 4.631 0.044 0.141
2007 18.912 0 0 0 12.556 6.163 0.093 0.100
2008 15.491 0 0 0 10.345 4.979 0.077 0.090
2009 0.120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.120

After the budget plan has been approved, MRTA will ask MOF about the plan to obtain the funds for this project.

Advertising on Subway stalled - translated and summarized from Dailynews, October 10, 2004
No settlement on the advertising deal and the revenue sharing between BMCL and MRTA is in sight.

Map of the new approved subway line
- October 9 ,2004
A scan from Manager Daily (October 8, 2004) of the new subway line.

Is the subway crime-ridden? - October 8, 2004
Wisarut reports: Someone claimed on the Thai-language forums that the subway is crime-ridden, but many said it's just hearsay and it is a big lie.

The construction of Bang Yai line - translated and summarized from Dailynews, October 12, 2004
Before the construction in September 2005, MRTA needs to acquire the land for the mini depot and park and ride facilities--the areas around Klong Bang Phai as well as Phra Nangklao Bridge (both sides).
Also park and rides at Nonthaburi 1 (before Rattanathibet 30), Klong Bang Phai terminal, and Wat Sai Mah station near the gate of Sue Trong village.
The cost for land expropriation is 1.587 billion baht while the construction cost will be 27.556 billion baht and the rolling stocks will be 16.417 billion baht and the total number for the budget 46.704 billion baht

The Public Debt office proposing two plans for financing the 46.704 billion baht Purple Line Subway extension (Bangyai - Bang Sue)
- translated and summarized from Manager Daily, October 10, 2004 and Prachachat Thurakij, October 7-10, 2004
The Public Debt Office said there will be two plans for the Purple Line (Bangyai - Bang Sue).
1) Domestic loan with a 10-year period and Ministry of Finance as an underwriter for the MRTA bond
2) JBIC loan with a 40-year payment period and low annual interest rate of 0.75%
So far, the plan is to finance the 600 billion baht mass transit project is not settled yet. Either long term bonds, securitization, or Wayubhak 2 Fund.
This 23-km Purple Line is a heavy rail with the capability to carry 50,000 passengers per hour per direction. It is to be opened in 2010 with 416,000 passengers a day. The 30-year benefit is 20.56% while B/C ratio is 2.12. It will cut fuel bills by 25.595 billion baht. The bidding for this project will be e-bidding.

46 billion baht for purple line to be done in five years
- translated and summarized from Prachachart Thurakij, October 4-6, 2004
The cabinet has approved the first leg of the purple line with a total distance of 23 km and a budget of 46.704 billion baht. 27 billion baht for construction, 1.5 billion baht for land expropriation and 16 billion baht for the new rolling stock. MRTA will have to find the domestic loan and the Ministry of Finance will be an underwriter for this project. The construction will be started in the mid 2005 and done in September 2008.
There are already more than 100 suburban villages along Rattnathibet Road with 60,000 households and thus estimated passengers are about 250,000 a day.
Since the Blue Ring section (Bang Sue - Charansanitwongse - Tha Phra) is not constructed yet, the line must terminate at Bangsue in the same way the original northern extension of the Blue Line.
The station next to Bangsue will be as follows:
1) Tao Poon - interchange with the Blue Ring
2) Wongsawang - just before Wongsawang intersection (Krungthep - Nonthaburi 39)
3) Nakhon In - near Tiwanon intersection
4) Rewadee - Soi Rewaee (Tiwanon 5) near Srithanya Mental Hospital
5) Khae Rai - near the new Nonthaburi Government Center
6) Sri Pornsawan - Rattanathibet 28 not far from Jusco Rattanathibet
7) Sanambin Nam (AKA Nonthaburi 1 Road) - closed to Sanambinnam Intersection - Park and Ride facility is here
8) Phra Nangklao - the station across Chaophraya near Phranangklao Pier [now the boat service has been extended to the Ministry of Commerce (Sanambinnam Office). This extension compels Chaophraya Express to move the terminal upstream from Nonthaburi to the Ministry of Commerce, but it is unlikely to go back to Pakkret since there are already a van service between Nonthaburi pier and Pakkret pier]
9) Sai Mah - near Suetrong village and near the gate of Wat Sai Mah
10) Tha It - near Tha It intersection
11) Bang Rak Yai - near the gate of Wat Bang Rak Yai
12) Bang Buathong - near the intersection with Bang Kruay - Bang Buathong
13) Bang Phraek - just across Bang Phraek canal
14) Bang Yai Intersection near Kratsadanakhon 10
15) Bangyai Market - near Kasemraj Hospital
16) Klong Phai - the terminal station with depot and maintenance center along with a park and ride
Commentary: MRTA better negotiate with the mall along the route to construct the via duct connecting the mall with the stations in the same way BTS has done.
Even though the construction of Bangsue - Bang Yai line has not started yet, the price of the land and houses along the route has shot up. Same can be said about the Skytrain and Subway route as well as the area around Suvannabhum Airport
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