The Purple Line recently launched, connecting Nonthaburi to Bangkok, has failed to meet its target of 70,000 commuters a day, following which Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to attract more commuters to the rail line.
Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesperson for the government explained that the rail line, spanning 23 kms, failed to meet its target because of the lack of linking the Purple Line with Blue Line, which made it inconvenient for commuters to transfer from one line to another. The Blue Line which runs into the heart of Bangkok is accessible by only a shuttle bus from the Purple Line. From its launch in earlier this month on the 6th, data from the MRTA shows that only 28 percent of the target were achieved.
Many commuters argued that the costs of tickets are too high, while some said the routes, starting from Khlong Bang Phai terminal in Nonthaburi to Tao Poon terminal in Bang Sue district, take too long. The Prime Minister has urged to cut down the fares on ticket and to speed up the process of making the rail line convenient for passengers. Peerayuth Singpattanakul, governor of MRTA said the officials under him are already under orders for resolving the technical problems as soon as possible. He claims, the rail line, once the linking is complete, will attract around 100,000 commuters a day. The authorities are also mooting shared tickets to cut down fares.