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MRTA to call bids for Phuket mass transit in Q3

A view of Phuket airport. The first mass transit line in Phuket will run from the airport to Chalong intersection. (Bangkok Post photo)

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) will call bids for a light rail system in Phuket in the third quarter of this year, pending cabinet approval.

MRTA deputy governor Theeraphan Tachasirinugune said on Friday investors could join the bid for the 34-billion-baht project on the resort island in the third quarter after the MRTA receives the green light from the cabinet in mid-2019.

The agency is gauging the interest and reactions of potential investors, local administrative organisations and other sectors before putting forward the proposal to the government.

It had said earlier that the project would be in the form of a public-private partnership.

The rail is aimed at easing traffic problems in Phuket, especially Phuket airport. The first line of 41km will be built from the airport to Chalong intersection, with 21 stations along the route. It will become operational in 2023.

Mr Theeraphan said on Friday BTS Group Holdings Plc, Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc, big construction companies and local firms, including Phuket City Development Co, are among interested investors.

He added the winner will be granted a 30-year concession from 2023 to run the line.

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