Pattaya’s mayor has painted a rosy picture of Pattaya’s future as plans for a Tram Way look set to be completed next year.
He has promised less traffic, less accidents, and more convenience for tourists and residents alike.
But the story on Sophon Cable TV did not mention a start date – and posters on the site thought that Pattaya was in for a long wait before the promised glowing future arrives.
A 70 million baht study for the Tram Way will be completed by mid-2020, said mayor Sontaya Khunpleum.
The system will be designed to link up with the bullet train linking three airports that has recently gained government approval. One of the stations on the route from Don Muang to U-tapao and Rayong will be in Pattaya.
The system is part of developments started in 2016 referred to as the Eastern Economic Corridor designed to improve the eastern seaboard in terms of transport and infrastructure.
Sontaya spoke of improved convenience for tourists and locals alike in the future and promised that the tram would mean less traffic and less accidents.
This would be good in terms of both loss of life and injury but also bring economic benefits especially in terms of transportation.
But he cautioned that there was much work to be done. Following the completion of the environmental impact and design survey process mid 2020, there will be consultative phases.
More recommendations of how to proceed will follow. These will involve not just the tram itself but other transport options that currently operate in and use Pattaya.
The project is a massive one, he said, and it is yet to be decided how the multi-billion baht project will be financed. One involving government and private sector finance under a PPP scheme is envisaged.
But while the future looks rosy in words coming from officialdom posters on the Sophon site saw a long road of disruption for Pattaya ahead.
Some suggested that infrastructure improvements in Bangkok had not seen less traffic there. And there had already been many years of traffic chaos in the capital.
Many BTS and MRT projects have been completed and are ongoing in Bangkok.
Other posters asked for a timetable of when the tram project might start being built and might be finished – details lacking in the Sophon story.