Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

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Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Gaybutton »

Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

by Chaiyot Phupattanapong

May 24, 2020

The Pattaya City administration plans to build a nine-kilometre monorail to ease traffic congestion and connect the city with the government's flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project.

Pattaya deputy mayor Manote Nongyai said yesterday while Pattaya has a wealth of potential for economic development, it has been plagued with traffic problems caused by rapid urban growth and lacks an efficient public transport system, particularly in its downtown area which is a key commercial and economic centre.

Pattaya needs to develop a public transport system to facilitate travel across the city, Mr Manote said, adding that a highly efficient system will be in high demand after the Covid-19 crisis eases, which will see an influx of tourists return to the city.

He was speaking at a forum at Pattaya City Hall to gather public opinions on a project to conduct feasibility studies, assess environmental impacts and come up with designs for the development of a rail transport system.

Present at the forum were residents and various state agencies.

"For the future development of Pattaya, it is necessary to reduce the use of private cars while moving towards public transport in the form of an electric rail system to distribute wealth, promote tourism and help the industrial sector," Mr Manote said.

He said the Pattaya City administration has allocated a budget of 70 million baht for a feasibility study project, adding the rail project in Pattaya will be designed to link with the government's infrastructure development in the EEC which spans three eastern provinces of Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.

Mr Manote said Pattaya City has hired a consortium of consultants to study designs and environment impacts, and the findings will be presented to Pattaya City.

Investment may be under the public-private partnership (PPP) model under the EEC's announcement, Mr Manote said.

Pongtawee Lertpanyawit, a manager of the feasibility study project, said that initially three types of rail systems were considered -- tram, monorail and underground rail.

But after a careful study and the first round of public hearings, it was agreed a monorail system would be the best option because it will cost less than the other two systems and have little impact during construction, Mr Pongtawee said.

The monorail system will involve an elevated structure made of steel-reinforced concrete, with piers each only 1.8 metres wide holding up the structure.

That means they do not take up much space during the construction, which makes them suited for the narrow road surfaces in Pattaya, he said.

The nine-kilometre monorail would run from Pattaya railway station via a motorway, Northern Pattaya Road, Pattaya Sai 2 Road, Thap Phraya intersection to Bali Hai Pier, which is the main route for commuters in Pattaya, Mr Pongtawee said.

He added there would be no need to expropriate much land along this route for the construction which in turn means there would be little impact on local residents.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... e-monorail

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Gaybutton »

Proposed Pattaya monorail paints a radical future by 2030

By Barry Kenyon

May 24, 2020

The proposal to fund a Pattaya City monorail project has taken a major step forward with the announcement of a 70 million baht feasibility study to link with much wider infrastructure developments. These include the hi-speed railway project to link Bangkok airports with U-Tapao and the emergence of the neighboring Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which is already a multi-billion dollar hi-tech Asean zone with its impressive deep-water ports at Laem Chabang and Rayong.

The idea of a Pattaya monorail was first mooted in the mayoral election campaign of 2008, but there was no progress until last year. Pattaya city authorities have now earmarked a budget of 70 million baht for a feasibility study which will concentrate on Pattaya’s future rather than its past. They believe that the city’s tourism profile is changing fast as dependence on the “Walking Street ethos” – dependence on bars and clubs – gives way to a Pattaya dominated by five star hotels, first class malls and restaurants and a more family-style environment. Pattaya is already an internationally-recognized MICE metropolis, or conference and exhibitions hub.

Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai said, “It is necessary to reduce the use of private cars whilst moving towards public transport in the form of an electric monorail to promote tourism and to help the industrial sector.” He explained that the nine-kilometre monorail would run from the Pattaya railway system via a motorway, North Pattaya Road, and Second Road, then covering most well-known shopping and entertainment spots before ending up at Bali Hai pier.

A monorail system is preferred over a ground level electric train or underground system as it would be both cheaper and less disruptive during the construction phase. Monorails are quieter than diesel transport and usually take their power from the track structure and not from unsightly overhead power lines and poles.

There are most-decidedly critics of the Pattaya monorail project, although they have been muted of late. Baht bus drivers fear for their livelihood and there is a suspicion from tour operators that cars and coaches would be banned from the city centre, as has already happened to some extent in Cambodian cities. Many shop and store owners fear they would lose much of their foot traffic once potential customers are lost.

But most observers think the project will go ahead this time, if only because Pattaya is no longer an isolated tourist destination but an integral part of the three province Eastern Economic Corridor. The whole project will likely cost around 30 billion baht and be funded under a public-private partnership model widely used in EEC projects.

A City Hall spokesman said, “Major motorways have already been built which was phase one. Phases two and three are the Pattaya monorail and the building of the ambitious hi-speed train network linking the whole area to Bangkok. An integrated transport system is the key to Pattaya’s future. It won’t happen overnight. By the end of this decade, the dramatic transformation will be complete.”

https://www.pattayamail.com/featured/pr ... 030-301364

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Jun »

I was thinking that could be a good idea, as a relatively easy retrofit, until I saw the map.
Surely they need a better network to make this viable ?
For example:
1 Include a direct connection to the new high speed rail station.
2 Extend to Jomtien
3 Add at least one east-west line

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 12:39 am
2 Extend to Jomtien
My guess is the baht bus drivers and motorbike taxi drivers are already upset by the prospect of this monorail at all. That might be why there is nothing about extending it to Jomtien.

That, however, doesn't mean there won't be such an extension. They seem to be serious about it this time, but nothing is engraved in stone yet.

I am wondering just who actually makes the decisions about where this monorail is going and where the stops will be. And since the stations are elevated, I hope they will have escalators. I, for one, ain't gonna climb mountains to ride on it.

And since they are hoping this will reduce traffic congestion, I haven't seen anything about how they are expecting people to get to and from the monorail stations if they don't happen to live nearby within walking distance. Are they going to provide parking lots and transportation to just get to the monorail stations?

Will it operate 24/7 or close down at certain hours? Will it have human drivers or be entirely computer operated?

All that remains to be seen, along with just when construction will start and how long it will take before it is ready to take passengers. And so far no word as to the price of a ride. I'm hoping for an option for a daily price or a fee every time you ride it. If I were using it, I would want a daily price to be available if I am going to make multiple stops.

Plenty of questions to be answered. If nothing else, if they're really going to do this, I hope it will be completed and ready within our lifetimes . . .

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Jun »

One of the objectives should be to reduce the number of baht buses in order to cut pollution.

The problem of getting people to the monorail should be solved by having a bigger network. After Bali Hai, they could have a short tunnel and then a station near Jomtien Complex. Then, perhaps head out to Sukhumvit road.
Probably extend the north end of it all the way out to the highway, where they could build a large car park, a new bus station and add the high speed rail station. That gets people to the line.
Then build at least one more line going east west, then up Sukhumvit.

Add a few buses to link up with this.

Finally, introduce road charging, so vehicles are charged for driving into central Pattaya.

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:31 pm
Finally, introduce road charging, so vehicles are charged for driving into central Pattaya.
I think I recall that was actually discussed by the powers-that-be a few years ago, but nothing ever came of it. If I'm right that it was discussed, my guess is business owners protested they will lose customers if that happens.

Apparently they are much more interested in dealing with traffic congestion than they are with dealing with pollution. At least they are interested in dealing with something.

The infamous Sukhumvit tunnel was supposed to relieve traffic congestion on Sukhumvit. I don't know about anyone else, but I frequently drive on Sukhumvit. If it had any effect on traffic congestion, I never noticed any significant change from the way it was before the tunnel ever existed.

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Jun »

Charging vehicles without providing a reasonable alternative would cause a loss of customers.

Charging vehicles, whilst providing a high quality public transport alternative and hence reducing congestion would probably INCREASE the number of customers. I think Singapore was the first place to introduce road pricing, or one of the first and they have a good public transport network, with buses and the MRT. Other cities have followed with some form of congestion charge.

As long as Thailand continues to design it's infrastructure around the car and motorcycle, congestion & pollution will continue to be a problem. What they need to do is change the priorities and make provision for pedestrians, buses & other forms of public transport. Then, where reasonable alternatives are provided, introduce charges for road traffic.

To be honest, given the width of the roads, Pattaya could probably introduce a ground level tram system for most of the network. They just need to ensure it's not screwed up, so get the detail right and ALWAYS give the trams priority over traffic, etc.

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

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Jun wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 7:17 pm
What they need to do is change the priorities and make provision for pedestrians . . .
I agree with every word you wrote, but we're talking about a city that placed utility poles right in the middle of sidewalks - and those are on the streets where they bothered to even put in sidewalks.

Unfortunately, I'd say the chances of them doing any of what you said, some time before Pattaya becomes an archeological dig, are virtually nil.

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by jimnbkk »

Just my opinion of course, but if Pattaya doesn't get a bunch of rain soon, the traffic problem will self-cure. No water, no people. They have said each year for the past few that they're "working on a solution", but the only solution I've read about so far is turning water off every other day for some people. Hmmmm. That's doesn't sound like a "fix". It's a not-so-good "cope".

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Re: Pattaya City unveils plans for nine-kilometre monorail

Post by Jun »

To borrow from the previous 2 threads, another Thai speciality is to put water meters in the pavement, above ground level so they become trip hazards. Well, I presume it's water they are metering.
To encourage walking, they should have some proper standards for pavements that prohibit this kind of nonsense.
Then, assuming water is metered, should the charge not be set at a level where it (i) funds water infrastructure development and (ii) discourages waste ?

The water issue belongs on a different thread, but whilst Pattaya's public transport needs fixing, it's ludicrous to be proposing some fancy monorail before fixing the basic water supply. And if there's a water shortage when there are no tourists in town, it must be bad.

Thailand also doesn't seem to have a good track record for designing public transport. Where they do have systems, the connections at the stations are terrible.
For example: Connecting from the BTS to the airport rail link, at Petchaburi-Makkasan, the connection from the MRT comes out on the wrong side of the road and has a convoluted bridge to get back to Makkasan. If designed properly, they would have an escalator going DIRECT from one to the other, with a single transfer gate to clock passengers out of one system and onto the next one. I could list several others, but you get the idea.

Do it properly and you encourage more people to use the systems, instead of driving.

There's already no sign of this Pattaya monorail going anywhere near the high speed rail system.

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