Friday 20 February 2009

The BTS or Bangkok Mass Transport System, Bangkok

The BTS or Bangkok Mass Transport System, Bangkok

The BTS or Bangkok Transport System is also known as the skytrain, for the simple reason that all the lines run above ground or rather above the streets of Bangkok.
It opened on 5th December, 1999.

The way payment is simple and straightforward and ticket machines like this one are all over the BTS stations.

The current system isn’t that big, there are currently only two lines. The one running from Mo Chit (near the Chatuchak weekend market) to On Nut is the biggest line and that’s the one that runs over Sukhumvit road. The other line currently in use is the Silom line, running from National Stadium to Saphan Taksin.
In August this year an extension is expected to open, running all the way up to Suvarnibumi airport. This has already been delayed to December 2009.

The platforms are wide and spacious and are accessible mostly by stairs although some or all seem to have moving staircases or elevators in place.

The trains are comfortable although during rush hour they tend to fill up easily, however without the scenes we know from Japan where people are literally pushed into the wagons.
Whilst in Bangkok, the sky train is very convenient since it reduces the waiting time in the 'rot thit' or traffic jams, which are notorious around Bangkok.
Whenever I book a hotel nowadays in Bangkok, I always make sure it's near a BTS station.
Besides the Sky train system, Bangkok also supports the MRTA subway system,
of which you can find a story here.


Andy said...

No, the airport link connecting Makkasan with Suvannaphumi is not part of the BTS Skytrain, but is operated by the State Railway (SRT). Only at first look it seems similar because it is also built on elevated tracks, but already on second view you should see the different way of electricity supply to the train.

But what will open soon after 5 years of delays is the extension of the Silom line on the Thonburi side, set to open in May.

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the clarification.