SRT Board Approves 20-Baht Fare for MRT Red, Purple Lines

The State Railway of Thailand’s (SRT) board has sanctioned a proposal to lower fares for the mass rapid transit (MRT) Red and Purple lines, standardizing the fare at 20 baht.

Governor of SRT, Nirut Maneephan, announced on Friday that under the leadership of Chair Jirut Wisanjit, the board has approved the 20-baht flat fare proposal, aligning with the new government’s pilot flat-fare policy on these two routes.

The Red Line encompasses 13 stations, linking Taling Chan to Rangsit, whereas the Purple Line operates between Bang Sue and Khlong Bang Phai, consisting of 16 stations.

Mr. Nirut disclosed that the proposal is slated to be presented to the Transport Ministry the coming week. Legally, every fare modification must adhere to Section 27 of the Financial Disciple Act.

This mandates that any government entity implementing a measure or a project impacting its income must also present a budget and an expenditure outline, inclusive of a schedule for implementation and the anticipated benefits.

Should the ministry ratify the proposal, it will subsequently be presented to the cabinet for deliberation, Mr. Nirut noted.

The governor anticipates that the fare proposal will be consistent with Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreagkit’s 20-baht flat fare initiative, referred as a “New Year’s gift” to the citizens.

“After the cabinet’s approval of the proposal, the SRT will hold talks with the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) and Krungthai Bank (KTB) to improve the software systems of the Red Line and the Purple Line, allowing them to interconnect,” stated Mr Nirut.

Based on an assessment of the fare reduction, it is projected that the SRT will incur a loss in revenue, necessitating government compensation approximating 80 million baht annually.

However, the governor of SRT noted that this reduction is likely to alter passenger preferences, with an expected incline towards electric train services, potentially enhancing passenger counts by 5-20% per annum and subsequently increasing SRT’s revenue.

Mr. Nirut further added that presently, the Red Line accommodates roughly 20,000 passengers daily.