The Cabinet on Tuesday gave the greenlight to building a 2.68 kilometer Gold Line monorail system, which will extend from the existing Krung Thon Buri BTS station, passing major hotels along the river as well as attractions like Klong San Market and The Jam Factory.
Nathaporn Chatusripitak, an adviser to Commerce Minister, said the monorail would be developed in two sections, with the first expected to start running in 2018, and the second in 2023.
The first section will run 1.72 kilometers from Krung Thon Buri BTS station to Taksin Hospital. The second section will run 0.96 kilometers from the hospital to Wat Anongkaram, according to Bangkok Post.
The development will be handled by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), who also plans on extending the Gold Line to Asiatique the Riverfront, a popular destination for both Thais and tourists.
Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, deputy prime minister and minister of defence, later came out to express his concerns over the Gold Line project. The main concern is that it could hide the scenery of Rattanakosin Island.
The cabinet had instructed Krungthep Thanakom Co., a majority-owned enterprise of the BMA, to study the possible impacts of the rail line in more detail. There is no set deadline for the study, so once it’s complete, the company can submit its findings to the cabinet for further consideration.
The Gold Line is expected to help ease traffic in Thon Buri district, as well as benefit the many buildings and shopping complexes located nearby. It expects to serve 47,000 per day in the first five years after it opens, according to The Nation.