BANGKOK, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday presided over the opening ceremony of a metro line extension in Bangkok and emphasized the role of metro in solving the city's severe traffic congestion.
During his speech at the official opening ceremony of the Blue Line Extension from Wat Mangkon to Lak Song, Prayut said the government is devoted to solving Bangkok's traffic congestion by implementing major infrastructure projects, especially metros.
The prime minister said it is written in the 20-year National Strategy that the government has to upgrade the traffic condition in Bangkok and the Bangkok metropolitan region to improve the city's competitiveness and facilitate transport for commuters.
The Blue Line extention is one urgent project of the government, he said.
Accompanied by governmental officials, the prime minister then officially opened the Blue Line rail system and took a ride on the new extension line.
According to Mass Rapid Transit Authority Governor Phakkhaphong Sirikantharamat, the stretched rail system covers a 16-km route from Hua Lamphong area to Lak Song area with 11 stations along the way, including four underground stations and seven elevated stations.
Bangkok has been suffering from severe traffic congestion for many years and the current government has made efforts to ease the problem by building more metro lines.