Monday, January 27, 2020

BTS ready to take on BMA debt burden

Dec 05. 2019
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By THE NATION

Surapong Laoha-Unya, executive director of BTS Group Holdings, said this week that the company is planning to extend the concession contract for BTS skytrain green line for another 30 years.

“The process is pending the Interior Ministry presenting it to the Cabinet, which should be finalised soon,” he said. “Moreover, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has presented the idea of setting a single rate for the BTS green line of Bt65 and we are looking at this.”

Addressing BMA’s debt burden of Bt110 billion including interest, which came from the investment in construction and system administration of BTS’s extended lines, Surapong says the company is financially ready to take responsible for the burden as per the contract. “BTS financial status is solid and should be able to take care of the debt with no problem,” he said.

BTS is now testing the operation of 4 new stations from Ha Yaek Lat Phrao to Kasetsart University stations and offering free service until January 2 at peak periods of the day: 7-9am and 4.30-8pm. The company estimates that the 4 stations will have at 100,000 passengers per day, and when the terminal Ku Kot station is open by the end of 2020 there will be at least 200,000 passengers travelling daily along the green line.

The BTS green line extension starts from Mo Chit station and will end at Ku Kot station in Pathumthani province. It is a part of the government’s 20-year mass transit development strategy (2018-2037). The line is 19 kilometers long and comprises a train maintenance center and two park-and-ride buildings with combined capacity for more than 1,700 cars.

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