BTS to BMA: Give us Bt8-bn train operation fee or we will stop running Green Line

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Bangkok Mass Transit System Pcl (BTS), operator of the Green Line train extension section (Bearing-Samut Prakan and Mo Chit-Saphan Mai-Ku Kot) has submitted a letter demanding that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) settle train operation fees amounting to more than Bt8 billion of the extended section, which has been open since 2018, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang said.

“BTS said they would have to stop train operations if they do not get paid,” he said.

“The BMA has to admit that we do not have the money and will need financial support from the government since it has tasked the BMA with train operations, but the extended section does not charge passengers additional fares.”

Aswin said the latest test run of Green Line trains on the extended section from Wat Phra Si Mahathat to Ku Kot stations has been completed without any problems and the section is scheduled for public use on December 16, with Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha expected to preside over the opening ceremony.

After a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said his ministry had proposed postponing consideration of an investment partnership contract between the BMA and BTS, which aimed to extend the Green Line train contract that would end in 2029 by another 30 years, to 2059, while maintaining a maximum fare of Bt65.

“Several agencies have supported the decision to postpone approval of the contract, including the Transport Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Office of the Council of State, citing that they have yet to undertake detailed consideration of the contract,” Anupong said.

“Therefore, the ministry decided to postpone submitting the contract for Cabinet approval until all related agencies have given us their opinions.”