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Electric Ferry Service Begins Friday on Bangkok Canal

Krungthep Thanakom Co. tests its new electric boats on Monday in Bangkok.
Krungthep Thanakom Co. tests its new electric boats on Monday in Bangkok.

Passenger service using electric-powered boats will begin Friday on Bangkok’s Padung Krung Kasem Canal following a successful test run.

Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang led senior officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in watching Monday’s trial of seven electric boats that left from Hua Lamphong Pier.

Boat service on the Padung Krung Kasem Canal began in October 2018 with one electric and two diesel-powered boats offering 14 trips daily.

Krungthep Thanakom Co., under the BMA, developed the project to procure seven more electric boats, which will be fully operational on Nov 27.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside over the Friday’s launch ceremony.

The electric ferry service had been expected to debut earlier in the year, but ran in to typical Thai-time delays. Electric boat service is also planned for Bangkok’s Saen Saeb Canal.

The boat can run four hours on a charge at a maximum speed of 17 kilometers an hour. It can carry 30 passengers and one passenger with a wheelchair.

The boats are fitted with solar panels to produce power for the vessels’ lighting and backup system.

The five-kilometer canal route passes 11 piers, starting from Hua Lamphong to Thewarat Market.

Boat passengers can connect to other public transport, such as the MRT subway, train and Chao Phraya express boat at four piers on the Padung Krung Kasem Canal.

The boats will leave every 15 minutes from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and every 30 minutes from 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. on weekends.

The service is free of charge for six months and the fare, which costs no more than 10 baht, will be charged after that.