The cabinet has approved the launch of several mass transit projects that it hopes will convince people to turn to public transport services from driving their own cars in their daily travels to work. The projects involve contracts to build six electric train routes, procure city buses and build new motorways. The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning deputy director-general Chaiwat Thongkamkoon said bidding for six electric train projects which includes the Green Line (Mor Chit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot), the Orange Line (Cultural Centre- Min Buri), and the Pink Line (Khaerai-Min Buri), will be called next year.
On public transport, he said the first lot of 489 of 3,183 natural gas-fuelled buses will be bought between January to March next year. With the new buses entering service, he expected more people will give up their private cars in favour of public transport. Also approved in principle by the cabinet is the widening of roads nationwide to four lanes and building four new motorways: Pattaya-Mabtaphut (89 kms), Bang Pain- Nakhon Ratchasima (196 kms), Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi (96 kms), and Nakhon Pathom-Cha-am (118 kms).
The cabinet also endorsed the 1.435-metre standard gauge for rail tracks on three routes: Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai, and Bangkok-Rayong. Under the new track standard, train will travel faster will at a top speed of 160 kilometres an hour.