Pol.Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, Governor of Bangkok, welcomed General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand’s Prime Minister, who presided over the opening ceremony of full-scale EV Passenger Boat Service in Phadung Krung Kasem Canal. It is considered as Thailand’s first truly and environmental-friendly transportation route. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha launched the service at Hua Lamphong Railway Station Pier, was a passenger on the first boat along the route to Thewarat Market Pier and watched a demonstration of 360-degree boat turning in tight space at Thewarat Market Pier.
The Governor of Bangkok stated that Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) continues to give importance to the development of public transit network. It aims to encourage people to use more public transportation system. The BMA emphasizes the development of sustainable, efficient and seamless connectivity of public transportation. Furthermore, the boat route will be developed into the green route with the use of clean energy boat such as electric boat instead of diesel engine boat. The electric boat operates noiselessly and produces zero dust and pollution, which is more eco-friendly.
All seven passenger boats use 100% electric-powered engine and are made of fiberglass material. 12 solar panels were installed on each boat to generate electricity for lighting system and reserve to be used as powered energy. The boats are also equipped with security devices. Each boat can accommodate 30 passengers and one passenger with wheelchair. The maximum speed of the boat is 10 – 15 kilometers per hour and can take a pivot turn of 360 degree which can solve the problem of boat turning in the canal. It can run up to four hours on one charge. GPS device was installed to indicate the location together with CCTVs which will be monitored by the control center all the time while providing services.
The five-kilometre boat route comprises 11 piers, namely 1. Hua Lamphong Railway Station Pier, 2. Hua Lamphong Pier, 3. Nopphawong Pier, 4. Yotse Pier, 5. Ministry of Energy Pier, 6. Lan Luang Intersection Pier, 7. Nakhon Sawan Pier, 8. Ratchadamnoen Nok Pier, 9. Prachathipatai Pier, 10. Thewet Pier, and 11. Thewarat Market Pier. The service route covers 4 district areas: Phra Nakhon District, Dusit District, Pom Prap Sattru Phai District and Pathum Wan District.
The electric passenger boat service operates daily, on a total of 39 trips a day, from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., with a boat departing every 15 minutes. The service hours can be adjusted according to circumstance. At present, the service is free of charge for the first six months. After that, the fare will be collected at the flat rate of 10 Baht.