BTS gears up for electrifying bus race in Bangkok’s BRT expansion

Picture courtesy of Markus Winkler from

Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), the BTS Skytrain operator, is in a race to supply Bangkok’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) electric buses and have them operational by the September 1 deadline.

BTSC signed a contract with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) yesterday, June 16, to procure 23 electric vehicles (EV) buses for the BRT system and to operate them for five years for 478 million baht.

The buses need to pass a one-month trial period after procurement, raising concerns about meeting the launch date.

BTSC CEO Surapong Laoha-Unya disclosed that the company is sourcing chassis from China, with the assembly taking place in Thailand. He acknowledged the complexity of the manufacturing process and that the trial period could pose challenges in meeting the deadline. However, the Chinese supplier assured timely delivery of the chassis.

Surapong stated that if the EV buses are not operational by the deadline, BTSC will incur a contractual fine payable to the BMA. The company is expediting the process, making every effort to ensure readiness by September 1. Additionally, fare collection will shift from pre-payment at stations to payment on the bus.

Sitthiporn Somkitsan, Deputy Director-General of the BMA’s Traffic and Transport Department, noted that the 24-seater, low-floor buses will be powered by 150 kWh lithium-ion-phosphate batteries.

Universal design equipment will be installed to assist commuters.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Wisanu Subsompon mentioned that the BRT operation will become more flexible, with buses making stops outside their exclusive lanes to accommodate more commuters.

The 15.7-kilometre route will be extended by 2 kilometres from Sathon Road to Rama IV Road, allowing passengers to interchange with the MRT Blue Line at Lumpini Station.

Wisanu added that the BRT buses will feature doors on both sides—one set opening to BRT stations on the right and another to regular bus stops on the left, reported Bangkok Post.

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Sarishti Arora

Eager to create brilliant and resonant content, Sarishti specializes in weaving feelings into compelling narratives and translating emotions into impactful words. With her Master's in Computer Application, she tackles blog posts, articles, or anything else with her technical expertise and her commitment is to capture the essence of a story.

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