Phuket mulls electric buses over trams

TRANSPORT minister Saksayam Chidchob reported on the progress of the mass transit system for Phuket at a Cabinet meeting in the province.

The pilot tram route was planned from Phuket International Airport to Ha Yaek Chalong, a distance of 41.7km, with a budget of about 35 billion baht (RM4.73bil).

The ministry told the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to consider modifying the system to rubber-wheeled electric vehicles, which could save over 10 billion baht (RM1.35) in costs and have lower fares.

However, the MRTA is still in the process of designing the project details, so the project can still be improved.

The draft terms of reference do not specify that the mass transit system must be a tram only. So as time goes on, it should be replaced by traditional buses.

According to the latest study, only about 39,000 passengers per day were found to be using the system.

“Using road medians should not be a problem. The MRTA has discussed with the department of highways to dismantle the road medians, rework the road surface and use the barrier between the lanes of the BRT bus and general cars,” said Saksayam on Thursday. — The Nation/ANN

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