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Phuket tram project resurrected from the dead

PHOTO: ITC Travel

The much-talked about Phuket light-rail project is back on the table, again. A feasibility study into phase 1 of the project is expected to conclude in 6 months, with work starting by 2028 and the service operational by 2031. That’s the plan anyway.

Described by many locals as a ‘white elephant’, the transport minister has provided an update on the project, which will cover over 41 kilometres, connecting Phuket International Airport with the Chalong Circle intersection in the south of the island, basically bypassing every single major tourist attraction in Phuket.

Suriya Jungrungreangkit says the feasibility study being carried out by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority will wrap up within 6 months and the authority will submit its findings to the MRTA board by… June 2026!

Between July 2026 and February 2027, proposals will be submitted to various stakeholders including the Transport Ministry, the State Enterprise Policy Office, the Public-Private Partnership committee, and finally the Cabinet, in that order.

Suriya expects contractors to be able to submit their bids for the project from March 2027 to August 2028, with construction finally beginning by September 2028. It’s hoped the service will be operational by December 2031.

In order to facilitate construction without causing too much traffic chaos, a number of roadworks projects are also being planned. Routes 402 and 4027 are to expanded, to alleviate congestion, with underpasses planned for 5 junctions on Highway 402.

The underpasses will range in length from just over a kilometre to 3.25 kilometres and will be located near Thalang School, at the Mut Dok Khao intersection, in the centre of the Thalang district, by the Srisoontorn municipality office, and at the Ko Kaeo-Bang Khu intersection.

There has also been some talk around the fare structure, with one proposal being that foreigners should pay more in order to keep the service affordable for locals. Whether that policy would also apply to foreign residents living on the island has not been confirmed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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