It was recently announced that MRT Dark Blue Line’s two new extensions will finally be scheduled for their first test runs. It has been nine years since they were constructed.
The Dark Blue Line will become Bangkok’s first circular line after the official opening of new MRT line extensions. As a result of these new extensions, there will be more development opportunities, particularly real estate, in Thailand's capital.
A popular means of transport, the MRT Dark Blue Line consists of 19 trains that can carry approximately 350,000 passengers every work week. CBRE believes that passenger count will grow bigger once the new lines are in place and there are more trains to accommodate a larger number of passengers.
Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM) purchased 35 more trains in 2018 under a contract agreement. These will be counted into the system, thereby increasing current numbers from 19 to an impressive 54 trains.
Four new trains will start operating towards the end of 2019, upon completion of the first extension from Hua Lamphong to Lak Song. We can expect rapid growth in passengers (approximately 400,000 every Mondays to Fridays).
In 2020, another extension line (Tao Poon to Tha Phra) will begin its operations with eight more trains reinforcing the MRT network. This means the MRT line will be able to accommodate 600,000 passengers during weekdays.
Within the next five years, five under construction lines, connecting midtown and suburban areas of Bangkok to the MRT Dark Blue Line, will be completed.
These five under construction lines include:
(1) BTS Light Green Line (Mo Chit to Khu Khot)
(2) Orange line (Thailand Cultural Centre to Minburi)
(3) Light Red Line (Taling Chan to Bang Sue)
(4) Dark Red line (Bang Sue to Rangsit)
(5) Yellow Line (Lat Phrao to Samrong)
Note: Construction of the first four lines will be completed in 2021 while Orange line will start operating sometime in 2024.
These extensions will soon bring in more passengers to the MRT Dark Blue Line. They will also open new hubs at interchange stations in Bang Sue, Lat Phrao, and Thailand Cultural Centre. Developers will soon be launching large-scale real estate developments near interchange stations.
The 35 new trains to be installed in the MRT network will hopefully accommodate the transportation demands of Bangkok’s burgeoning population. Once all five future MRT lines start operating and large-scale projects are set into motion, the MRT Dark Blue Line will carry up to 1 million passengers on 54 trains per weekday – almost triple its present capacity.
These one million people passengers of the MRT Dark Blue Line will bring about the rise of CBDs and hotspots in Bangkok especially where the interchange stations are located. In the future, these areas will be the focal points for property developments.
CBRE is hopeful that the MRT network expansions will change how residents of Bangkok “live, work and play.” Thailand’s capital will also become a globalised city, defined by interconnectivity and convenience. Meanwhile, Bangkok's market is ready for another phase of growth.
The original article was published on Bangkok Post and written by Pakapon Utaobin, CBRE Thailand Research and Consulting analyst. Date of publishing: 6/26/2019.