Saturday, May 15, 2021

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BTS boss would rather cancel Yellow Line extension than pay compensation


The MRT Yellow Line, running from Lat Phrao to Samrong in Samut Prakan, is about 74 per cent ready and the builder, BTS Group Holdings, plans to gradually open the line for trials this year.

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As for the extension connecting the Yellow Line to BTS Green Line, negotiations with the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) have not been concluded yet.

Sources have said that the operator of the Yellow Line extension may have to compensate Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM), which runs the MRT Blue Line, for lost revenue because the new extension will allow commuters to connect with the Green Line without needing to use the Blue Line.

A study conducted by the MRTA showed that the number of Blue Line users will drop by about 6,000 per day once the extension is running.

“BTS will not pay any compensation, because it is a listed company. We cannot give any guarantees,” BTS chief Surapong Laoha-Unya said.

He said there is still time to negotiate, but if the MRTA insists on a guarantee of compensation from BTS for lost revenue, then the project will have to be dropped.

MRTA has said it will look into the matter on March 18.

The Yellow Line extension, linking Lat Phrao with the BTS Green Line at Ratchayothin station, is about 2.6 kilometres long and will cost more than Bt3 billion to build. BTS has offered to provide the funding for the project.

Published : March 12, 2021

By : The Nation