‘Spider’ cards to crawl out from next June

‘Spider’ cards to crawl out from next June

The Mangmoom (spider) cards promise one-ticket rides on the BTS, the Metro and the main expressway system – but not for a year.

The first Spider cards for the common ticket system will be available by next June, but will initially only be used to link the Airport Rail Link and public bus services, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith says.

He said other modes of transport such as the skytrain and subway will gradually join the Spider card system by next October.

Mr Arkhom announced the deadline after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to speed up installation of the common ticket system was signed by transport authorities Wednesday.

The concerned parties were the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) and the Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM).

The Spider cards, locally dubbed as “Mangmoom” cards, aim to eventually connect all modes of transport in Bangkok and its metropolitan area with the use of a single card. Currently, commuters need to use different methods to pay for each transport mode.

However, both BTS skytrain and MRT subway cards will still be available for purchase after the introduction of the Spider cards, Mr Arkhom said.

The common ticket system, previously under the supervision of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, was transferred to the care of the MRTA after a cabinet agreement in August.

The agreement called for the MRTA to establish a subsidiary company to oversee the project’s money management system.

According to acting MRTA governor Rithika Suparat, the authority is currently drafting a procurement plan for the project to hire consultants to conduct research on the company’s structure and investment ratios for shareholders.

Mr Rithika said if the plan is approved this year, the MRTA can begin hiring consulting companies by early next year, adding that the research could take another four months.

He said it will take a further eight to 12 months for the company to be established after the research receives the green light from the State Enterprise Policy Office, meaning the subsidiary would be in operation by 2019.

Mr Rathika said founding the subsidiary for the “Mangmoom” card system can be sped up because the subsidiary was commissioned due to a cabinet agreement.