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Free rides on Bangkok’s MRT Blue Line extension

Passengers can now ride on the extended section between Wat Mangkorn and Tha Phra stations, with a total of 5 new stations, for free from today until 28 September this year, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily.

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Transport Minister rides MRT Blue Line extension test run

BANGKOK, 29 July 2019 (NNT) – The Minister of Transport officiated at the trial runs of the MRT Blue Line Hua Lamphong – Bang Khae extension on which passengers can ride the extended route for free from today until 28 September this year.

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The Minister of Transport Saksiam Chidchob today at 9:59 a.m. dispatched the first metro train to run on the public trial of the Hua Lamphong – Bang Khae extension of the MRT Blue Line, which is now accepting passengers on public trial runs from today to celebrate the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King’s 67th birthday.

Passengers can now ride on the extended section between Wat Mangkorn and Tha Phra stations, with a total of 5 new stations, for free from today until 28 September this year, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily.

The extension is currently served by 3 metro trains, with an 8-minute interval between services.

Passengers travelling from the existing MRT Blue Line network, between Tao Poon and Hua Lamphong stations, will have to change trains at Hua Lamphong station to continue their journey onto the Wat Mangkorn – Tha Phra extension.

Fares are currently exempted for stations on the new extension, and will only be collected for parts of the journey involving the existing network, starting at 16 baht up to 42 baht, or up to 70 baht for connecting journeys with the MRT Purple Line.

Passengers can use their existing MRT re-loadable fare cards or fare tokens obtained from ticket vending machines for rides. Each journey will have a maximum time limit of 180 minutes starting from the tap of card or token at the ticket gate.

The Ministry of Transport, the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA), and Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM) plans to open the Tao Poon – Tha Phra extension of the MRT Blue Line in 2020, which will be the final section of the Blue Line network that will run in a circle with Tha Phra station serving as an interchange.

The MRT Blue Line network will provide connections to other modes of urban transportation, including rail and water, providing passengers with a more convenient commute and helping to solve traffic congestion in Bangkok, and will be a significant milestone in public transport development to help improve the general public’s lives.

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Asean

ASEAN, France formalise Development Partnership

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ASEAN, France formalise Development Partnership

JAKARTA, 4 MARCH 2021 – ASEAN and France convened the inaugural ASEAN-France Development Partnership Committee (AF-DPC) Meeting via videoconference today, marking the start of a formal partnership to strengthen their long-standing ties.

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Environment

Expedia and Accor join UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge

Expedia Group, a mega booking platform, and the global hotel company Accor are joining forces to extend their commitment to the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge.

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Expedia Group, the global travel platform and Accor, a world leading hospitality group, in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), are joining forces to further extend the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge (hereinafter also “The Pledge”).

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Ecommerce

Disrupted by Covid-19, will South-east Asia’s super apps join forces?

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Disrupted by Covid-19, will South-east Asia's super apps join forces?
– Super apps explore inorganic growth options
– Gojek in talks with e-commerce company Tokopedia over $18bn merger
– Grab reported to be preparing for a public listing in the US
– Food delivery and financial services increasingly important segments

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After a year of external expansion and internal reorganisation due to Covid-19, South-east Asia’s super apps appear to be looking towards mergers and public listings as a strategy for future development.

In early January international media reported that Indonesian ride-hailing and payments giant Gojek was in advanced talks about merging with local e-commerce company Tokopedia, in a deal estimated to be worth $18bn.

Any potential merger between the two would be significant for Indonesia. The two local unicorns could create a digital powerhouse, with integrated services ranging from ride-hailing to digital payments, e-commerce and delivery.

A tie-up would also create numerous synergies, such as Gojek’s fleet being able to serve Tokopedia’s online shopping orders. However, there is also some overlap in the digital payments space, where Gojek’s GoPay platform competes with Ovo, which is 35% owned by Tokopedia, although there is speculation that Tokopedia may look to sell its stake in Ovo.

The news was followed by separate reports in late January that Grab, Gojek’s biggest competitor in South-east Asia, had selected investment banks Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan to help work on an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, set to take place in the second half of the year.

The Singapore-headquartered company, which operates ride-hailing, food delivery, e-payment and insurance services in around 400 cities across eight South-east Asian countries, is valued at around $16bn. Its IPO is expected to raise at least $2bn, which would make it the largest overseas share offering by a South-east Asian company.

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