Bangkok’s BTS becoming too expensive for Thai passengers

The ultra-useful BTS network around Bangkok is becoming too expensive for many Thais, and is more expensive than international equivalents.

The BTS Skytrain system is already too costly when compared to basic wages in Thailand, according to a recent research paper by the The Thailand Development Research Institute.

It says that low-income earners can only afford to pay 11.7 baht per trip, well under the BTS starting fare price of 16 baht. This is even less than the average of 28.3 baht fare for all three commuter rail services carrying passengers around Bangkok.

The reports says that, based on current fare schedules, rates could rise to over 100 baht for a ride between the Purple Line’s MRT Bang Yai, in the Bang Bua Thong district in the western outskirts, to a downtown station. In terms of cost-per-kilometre travelled by train, the average fare in Bangkok stood at 14.8 baht, as opposed to 12.4 baht in London, 2.3 baht in Singapore and 4.08 baht in Hong Kong.

The report also points out inconsistencies between the BTS (Skytrain) and MRT (Underground). A BTS passenger would be charged 37 baht when travelling from Sala Daeng to Asok, compared to 23 baht when commuting by MRT between Silom and Sukhumvit stations, an equivalent length journey.

Because of high fares the report says that fewer commuters could use the electric rail lines, and operators would have to shoulder high operating costs.

There are currently three electric rail systems traversing the capital: the BTS Skytrain, the MRT and SRT Airport link. They are operated by privately owned conglomerates under lucrative concessions granted by the Thai government.

Learn more about the Bangkok BTS HERE.

Bangkok NewsTransport News
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