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Stops along the proposed southern Phuket mass transit link

Phuket Monorail Plus Tunnel Gains Backing from Patong Mayor

Thursday, April 5, 2012
PHUKET: Patong Mayor Pian Keesin gave his tacit support to a bidder for Phuket's light rail and Patong tunnel projects today, saying that JS Rock was among the most impressive of candidates.

Both the light rail and tunnel projects remain open to bidders after Thailand's Cabinet gave in-principle support on Phuket last month to a range of developments for which funding has yet to be approved.

This means that actual endorsement of the projects remains years away and dependant on the availability of funds, as well as the current government staying in power.

The Hong Kong-based JS Rock Capital Ltd had visited Phuket many times and established itself as a leading candidate, Mayor Pian said today after the would-be developers first met with Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha in Phuket City, on the other side of the island to Patong.

A light rail system or a monorail are among the options for the routes from Phuket International Airport to Phuket City and Chalong Circle.

JS Rock Director Dale Andresen said today that the monorail could continue to Patong through the Patong Tunnel if both projects won simultaneous approval and funding.

Critics of the light rail or monorail project fear that if the projects are privately funded - as will be necessary unless the government pledges a budget rather than simply approving the concept - travel on the transport will be too costly for locals.

The safety advantages are obvious yet none of the bidders for the multi-billion baht projects have explained how the monorail or light rail will be more efficient and and less costly for locals than a tram or a tram-bus network.

Comments

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"travel on the transport will be too costly for locals."
How many locals are using Patong TukTuk's?
So that can't be a valid reason, can it?
And where is the extra tube, in the tunnel project? Didn't see that in the planning!

Posted by C. on April 5, 2012 23:46

Editor Comment:

All of the bidders seem to have the engineering skills to give Phuket a series of high-cost links and a tunnel but we've yet to hear or see anything approaching a transport strategy for Phuket. If alternatives are not geared to Phuket's real needs and at a cost locals can afford, it won't be progress. Bringing in an independent, expert team to assess the island's real transport needs would be the appropriate place to start.

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The traffic problems are not caused by the hill road itself, but by dangerous & poor driving skills and old and bad maintenance from buses and trucks using it. A tunnel will not solve the traffic jams and congestions in Patong itself. Solve the traffic and parking problems in Patong first. Waiting in a cue in the tunnel will cause new trouble and dangerous & panic situations.

Posted by PhuketExpat on April 6, 2012 08:45


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