The first four-car train is scheduled to enter service in early October, and all 35 will be delivered by next July. The new cars will increase passenger handling capacity by more than 30,000 people an hour. THITI WANNAMONTHA
The company received the first batch of 35 trailer cars manufactured by Germany’s Siemens AG yesterday.
The trailer cars cost 2.1 billion baht and will lengthen the existing trains from three cars to four on the Sukhumvit line to accommodate more passengers during peak hours.
The first four-car train is scheduled to be in service in early October, and all 35 cars will be delivered by July 2013. The new cars increase passenger handling capacity by over 30,000 passengers per hour.
BTSC also purchased five Chinese-made four-car trains to serve higher volume on the Silom Line when the Wong Wian Yai-Bang Wa extension is in operation.
The 5.3-kilometre extension will open the first two stations at the end of this year and the other two by mid-2013, said chairman and chief executive Keeree Kanjanapas.
After completion, the BTS skytrain will run a total of 36.25 km, consisting of 34 stations and a fleet of 52 four-car trains totalling 208 cars.
At present, BTS services 600,000 passengers on average per day, with the number peaking at 715,000 in March.
Ridership is expected to hit 650,000 next year when the Wong Wian Yai-Bang Wa section is operational.
In the first quarter of this fiscal year starting in April, ridership rose 15% from a year earlier, but revenue surged 20%. The company targets ridership increasing 12-15% over last year.
“We are aiming for another 15% growth next year for both ridership and revenue,” said Mr Keeree.
Chief operating officer Surapong Laoha-unya said the company is considering a fare increase next year, which was agreed upon in the concession with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
The 5.25-km On Nut-Bearing extension opened earlier this year added 120,000 to 130,000 passengers daily to the Sukhumvit line, exceeding the BMA’s estimates of 100,000. The new extension to Bang Wa is expected to draw up to 80,000 passengers a day, said Mr Surapong.