MRTA cancels expansion plan for Yellow Line
The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) has halted plans to extend the Yellow Line monorail from Lat Phrao to Ratchayothin as the proposal by Eastern Bangkok Monorail (EBM), the concessionaire of the project, has now expired.
The plan has been put on hold, as some 100,000 passengers are required to use the service daily to ensure the investment feasibility of this project.
Pakapong Sirikantaramas, the governor of the MRTA, revealed that the proposed expansion of the Yellow Line covering a distance of approximately 2.6 kilometers, was submitted by EBM for consideration prior to the opening of the monorail in June.
The MRTA says the planned extension to Ratchayothin was not part of the original Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan (M-Map) for Bangkok and its outskirts, and it does not impact the existing rail network. Currently, the area between Ratchada and Lat Phrao is served by the MRTA's Blue Line.
Pakapong added that approximately 40,000 passengers use the MRTA's Yellow Line service from Lat Phrao to Samrong on weekdays, with the number falling to about 28,000-30,000 on weekends and public holidays. During the free trial period, when the system was being tested and the service was free of charge, ridership reached 70,000 passengers per day.
MRTA anticipates that daily ridership on the Yellow Line should ideally be between 70,000 and 80,000 passengers to be considered successful. If ridership increases to 100,000 passengers per day, growing at a rate of 10% annually, it would make the investment financially viable. Adjusting passenger behaviour to adopt mass transit as the primary mode of transportation will be essential for the project's success.