Infrastructure work continues throughout the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) with the completion of one project and the announcement of another. The Pattaya-Maptaphut motor extension is now open while the city of Pattaya announced plans to build a monorail.
The 32-kilometer highway extension adds three toll gates to Motorway Route 7 and links Bangkok to Rayong. Only one is operational at the moment with the other two set to open later this year. Driving time from the Thai capital to U-Tapao, the final tollgate, has been reduced to less than two hours with the completion of the motorway.
The motorway extension is currently free to use between Pattaya and U-Tapao with The Pattaya Mail reporting that tolls will be collected starting in September. The government sees Motorway Route 7 as an important part of its plan to improve transportation and logistics efficiency in the EEC.
Pattaya on board with monorail plans
Traffic has plagued Pattaya for years. Travel times in the city center have increased significantly as urban growth has outpaced infrastructure development. The Pattaya City administration hopes its latest plan can offset this.
The local government revealed intention to build a nine-kilometer monorail that would run from Pattaya City Hall in the north of the city to Bali Hai Pier in the south. Officials believe the project is necessary to improve the city’s economic development.
“For the future development of Pattaya, it is necessary to reduce the use of private cars while moving towards public transport in the form of an electric rail system to distribute wealth, promote tourism and help the industrial sector,” Pattaya Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai told the Bangkok Post.
A monorail was chosen as the preferred option because construction would have the smallest impact on the local area. Both a tram and an underground rail project were also considered by the Pattaya City administration.
No timeline was given for the project and the local government is still exploring options for funding.