Bangkok’s canal commuters will be treated to six-months of free rides on the city’s new electric boat service along Khlong Padung Krung Kasem. The service was officially launched today by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
The launch ceremony, which took place this morning at the Hua Lamphong pier, was presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The prime minister, several cabinet ministers and city officials took a ride the boats after the opening ceremony.
Seven electric boats, each equipped with 12 solar panels, with reserve energy stored in batteries, will be put into service on Khlong Padung Krung Kasem. Each boat has 30 seats, including one for a wheel chair. The maximum speed ranges between 10and 15km per hour.
City officials say that the boats are quiet and do not cause air pollution. The government has a long-term plan to replace all diesel-fueled commuter boats currently in service.
Initially, the service will cover 11 piers along 5kms of canal, stopping at Hua Lamphong, Noppawong, Yossay, the Ministry of Energy, Larn Luang, Nakhon Sawan, Ratchadamnoek Nok, Prachatippatai, Thevet and Tevarat piers.
The boat service starts at 6am and ends at 7pm and there will be 39 trips each day.
After the free service period, a 10-baht fare will be charged for the entire trip.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)