Yesterday, The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) board convened to make a crucial decision that could revolutionize the Purple Line electrified railway service. They deliberated on imposing a cap on the rail fare to a maximum of 20 baht, providing a more affordable transportation option to everyday commuters. It should be noted that this proposed rate, at the outset, will only be applicable to those making payments via standard EMV enabled credit or debit cards — generally identified by a unique symbol depicting four overlapping arcs, not dissimilar to the well-known WiFi symbol. At this stage, the decision is pending final approval from the Ministry of Transport and the Cabinet, with the anticipated date of implementation slated at December 1.
Indeed, this demonstration of benevolence from the MRTA is expected to significantly impact the Purple Line’s revenue, reducing it by a staggering 60%, equivalent to 190 million baht annually. Despite the projected loss, the board believes that the cheaper fares will foster an increase in daily passenger numbers by approximately 10,000, raising the average ridership from 56,000 to a healthy 17% increase.
The Purple Line, a jewel in the crown of Thai public transport, boasts 16 stops and originates from the Khlong Bang Phai station located in the suburban Bang Rak Phatthana, Bang Bua Thong District, in Nonthaburi Province, following the path of National Highway No. 9. Its scenic route meanders along Rattanathibet Road and Tiwanon Road, providing a picturesque view of governmental buildings such as the Nonthaburi Provincial Government Centre and the Ministry of Public Health. The journey terminates at the Tao Poon station, residing in the heart of Bangkok’s bustling Bang Sue District, as reliably reported by Sanook.
Looking ahead into the horizon of advancements in public transportation, the Purple Line is set to undergo a monumental expansion, welcoming an additional 17 underground and elevated stations that extend to the Phra Pradaeng District, in the bustling Samut Prakan Province. These new additions to the route will feature key locations such as the prestigious Parliament House, the iconic Democracy Monument, and the culturally vibrant Phahurat area.
In a bid to enhance affordability and convenience, Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, has tabled a pilot program that proposes a standard fare of 20 baht across both MRT Purple Line and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Red Line. This farsighted initiative, slated to roll out in the upcoming three months, has been charmingly presented as a tangible “New Year’s gift” for the citizens. Want to know more? Read further HERE and stay abreast of the most recent updates on our new Facebook page HERE.