Phuket Airport Rail Link
Each year Phuket see’s increasing tourism numbers, with these numbers growing much faster than originally anticipated. While the tourism is absolutely booming the impact on its infrastructure is taking strain, particularly in the case of the traffic congestion which is fast becoming a major inconvenience to residents, tourists and the large ex- pat communities who all occupy the island.
As seen over the last few years , the island has done it’s best to make allowance for these growing numbers by means of infrastructural changes such as ; the new airport, several introductions of road underpasses , more local bus services, adding of more accommodation and expansion of shopping malls. While these have all been great for the island and have had a very positive impact on the economy, the volume of road traffic is simply still a problem at present and with more Thai nationals deciding to own cars due to much more affordable financing plans, giving them the option to drive a vehicle as opposed to a motorbike, considerably adds to the traffic problem we are now all experiencing. We have also seen a big increase in the number of tour busses on the roads as well as delivery trucks coming in more frequently so as to stock super markets and other businesses as they try to cope with the growing demand of tourists coming out to Phuket.
The posing question remains, how does Phuket plan to cope in future as the island continues to get busier? Surely they must have a solution as it’s not like they can increase the size of their roads to make them into large highways, after all we are only an island. As fascinating as it is to see how far this island has come in terms of tourism and infrastructural changes over the last decade, there has to be something big on the horizon to help get a handle on this, right..?
Thankfully there is talk of an airport rail link in the process and this is a whole new level if this is implemented. Yes you have read correctly an airport rail link is being discussed. Phuket certainly is becoming quite the island, as I am sure many would agree! It has been recognized that the island is in desperate need of a high – capacity transport system, now more than ever. Once the contract has been approved construction could start as soon as the beginning of 2019 however it hasn’t yet been made officially public as to exactly how long we will need to wait before this is in operation, but it has been mentioned a few times that this could be up and running by 2021. The Phuket City development committee said the contract will hopefully be awarded at some point during this year.
It is expected the cost to be around 1 billion $, a major investment to be made with Phuket’s infrastructural development sector, so the development committee are making sure they choose the best contractor to facilitate such mass scale project. In fact it has been said that the idea of an airport rail link has been in the planning for some time now, however finding the right contractors have been rather challenging. Now they are down to only two contenders so it is likely we should start seeing things start to take shape with this process sooner rather than later.
Not only is this all very exciting and fantastic news for anybody frequently caught in the daily traffic dilemma, but folks are keen to know which areas of the island this will cover? So far we have been informed that the line will be approximately 32 kilometers long with 23 stations linking Phuket airport to Chalong intersection.
So for those who think the current traffic problem is permanent, do not despair for there is hope things will improve in this department within the next few years, allowing us to continue enjoying this amazing island.