Thrilling news hit the city when the cabinet gave approval for a 20-baht flat fare for both the Red and Purple line trains in Bangkok. The decision was effective immediately, announced the Transport Minister, Mr Suriya Juangroongruangkit. He affirmed that the State Railway Authority had given a nod, and the system was up and running.
The excitement was palpable as the official inauguration of the 20 baht fare took place in the heart of town. The event began at 11 a.m. at the bustling Krung Thep Aphjiwat Central Terminal, the main railway station of Bangkok, situated in the bustling district of Chatuchak.
However, there’s a catch for regular commuters who switch lines at Bang Sue. Despite the flat fare, if you’re changing between the Red and Purple lines at Bang Sue, you’re still required to pay twice. Regardless, with a minimum estimation of 100,000 daily commuters expected to use both lines, this is seen as a minor setback. Currently, the numbers stand at about 300 commuters shifting between both lines.
By ensuring an unparalleled commuting experience, authorities have slated time for necessary upgrades. The aim is for a bank to update the software system for both lines, allowing smooth interconnection and frictionless transitions. The new system is expected to be fully operational by the 1st of November.
Until this announcement, Purple Line fares have ranged from 14-42 baht, while the Red Line had a range of 12-42 baht. Let’s draw your attention to the network. The robust 41-kilometre long SRT Red Line, stretching from Taling Chan to Rangsit via 13 strategical stations. The 23km MRT Purple Line, with its 16 stations, presents a delightful journey between Bang Sue and Khlong Bang Phai.
The Deputy Transport Minister, Manaporn Charoensri, revealed that the government would need to subsidize the 20-baht flat fare policy – a decision that would hypothetically cost 130 million baht annually. She further divulged the ministry’s future plans to seek cabinet approval for a double-track railway connecting Khon Kaen and Nong Khai, spanning a total of 186 kilometres.
When you start to look at the big picture, this decision could potentially boost not only the city’s transportation but also economic prospects. With this, the city’s commuters can look forward to a seamless, comfortable, and undoubtedly more affordable journey. This move also sets the stage for a broader mass transit map in the future.