Pattaya City is joining hands with the ‘Toyota’ company to bring electric test drive cars to a public transportation trial next month to support the long-term Pattaya Smart City plan developed by Pattaya City leaders.
Pattaya City has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) contract with ‘Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd’ to bring test-drive electric cars and vehicles for public transportation in Pattaya under the project of a city model with no carbon dioxide emissions.
The Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume discussed the trial yesterday, February 23rd, 2021 with Mr. Pichit Phongprasert from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), the president of the Pattaya Baht Bus Cooperation Mr. Tawat Peukboonnak, and representatives from the Toyota Company. The Pattaya News was present for the meeting.
Mayor Sonthaya told The Pattaya News, “Next month, ten electric cars will be tested for the viability of public transportation in Pattaya and Koh Larn. At the end of this year, five baht buses will be turned into electric vehicles as part of a wider trial, with the full cooperation of the Baht Bus cooperative of Pattaya. If successful, the plan is to eventually convert the fleet of Baht Buses (songtaews) into electric transportation.”
“This is under an overall project to develop an environmentally friendly policy in Pattaya to support our ‘Pattaya Smart City’.” Mayor Sonthaya concluded.
The Smart City plan, The Pattaya News notes, is a long-term plan spanning several years and has multiple facets to the plan, including aspects including:
-A monorail connecting prominent Pattaya City locations (currently in development stages, passed final approval last year)
-Moving overhead cables across the city underground (currently taking place)
-Installation of 5G wi-fi towers throughout the area (has already begun in earnest in Nongprue, expanding to greater Pattaya in the future)
-Expansion of local beaches to stop erosion and protect the environment (Pattaya Beach has expanded some time ago, work has begun on Jomtien Beach near Na Jomtien to reverse erosion and add more sand in this area.)
-Refurbishment of Pattaya Beach, to include public restrooms, better landscaping, fix walkway issues, and more. (Set to begin sometime this year, according to City Hall)
-Construct sports fields under the Bali Hai overpass (we made an article on this yesterday, you can learn more here.)
-Expansion of the U-Tapao airport and transportation to and from the terminal. (A long-term project in progress.)
-Multiple other projects are also in the works, including some not directly associated with the Smart City plan but that complement the plan with the “Neo Pattaya” plan such as a Walking Street refurbishment, Bali Hai pier improvements, Pratumnak Hill improvements, and more.
Initial test locations are still being finalized, however, the baht bus “station” located at the intersection of South Pattaya Road and Second Road will be at least one of the test markets, where Baht Buses transport customers to and from the Jomtien area. The Pattaya News notes that the budget allocations for this project were not released to the general public or press for review and were unavailable for this article.
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