Bangkok (VNA) Thailand is set to open three new “smart” piers on the Chao Phraya River this year to help reduce traffic problems and offer improved transport links between road, rail, and river.

The Rama VII Pier, Tha Tian Pier, and Kiakkai Pier will be upgraded to become smart piers this year, deputy spokeswoman of the Thai Government Tipanan Sirichana said on January 30.

The government planned to upgrade 29 piers into smart ones by 2025, at a cost of about 942 million THB (28.77 million USD). They will be equipped with real-time displays to inform commuters of boat arrival times. The facilities will also have free WiFi and mobile-phone charging stations, with a design that offers support for wheelchair users.

The smart piers will have a landmark-worthy aesthetic and will connect to other transport platforms, she said, adding that they will also accept digital payments, including prepaid cards and mobile payments.

Six smart piers at Sathon, Memorial Bridge (Saphan Phut), Tha Chang, Nonthaburi, Phayap, and the Marine Department have been opened since 2019 - 2021. Two others, Bang Pho and Rajinee, have finished their upgrades during the past 12 months.

The Thai Government expects the number of boat commuters will increase to 53,000 per day in 2027, two years after the plan is completed, according to the official./.