Posts Tagged ‘Subway’

Bangkok Subway Extended Hours

December 22, 2009
Extended Operating Hours

Extended Operating Hours

The Bangkok Subway will run until 2am on New Year’s Day 2010. That’s good news: the trains usually stop just before midnight.

They’ve just started posting signs like this on the trains and in the stations.

New Bangkok Skytrains Coming in 2010

December 17, 2009

Skytrain Entering Nana StationThis article in the Bangkok Post (Thailand’s major English-language newspaper) has two interesting snippets of information:

  1. 1. “BTS has ordered 48 new Chinese-made trains worth US$70 million. The new carriages will enter service in June.” That’s ambiguous. I think it means 16 new trains of three carriages each. The words aren’t synonymous. There are currently 35 three carriage trains in service – 105 carriages. They’re the original stock manufactured by Siemens. They have been in service for ten years but look well-maintained.
  2. “BTS and Bangkok Metro Plc, which operates the subway in the capital, also expect their single ticketing system will be ready to serve Bangkok commuters early next year. The electronic cards will be available at convenience stores and hypermarkets in the future.” I wonder if that has any connection with the Subway withdrawing the 30-Day Pass. Perhaps it is incompatible with their new system. Whatever … it is still a pain and very badly handled by the Subway management team.

Two Students Waiting for the Subway
More trains will mean more advertising opportunities for the system. From the same article:

BTS chief operating officer Surapong Laoha-Unya said that of the total 2010 revenue, 3.7 billion baht would come from ticket fares and the remaining 100 million baht from advertisements.

The subway is all underground and al the stations have platform doors. So they don’t have the same external advertising opportunities that benefits the Skytrain system. The trains are a symbol of modern Bangkok.

The Bangkok Subway Cares …

December 4, 2009

Enough of my carping about the incompetence of the fare policies on the Bangkok Subway. They truly are a caring institution. I don’t think you’d see this on the New York Subway or London Underground. Indeed the customer service staff at the stations are always polite and helpful. I get the impression they are proud of their subway.

The Bangkok Subway Cares ...

The Bangkok Subway Cares ...

The consistent misspelling of the word “returning” adds to the charm.

Bangkok Subway Fare Confusion

November 30, 2009

The Bangkok Frugal Photographer is annoyed with the Bangkok MRTA (Subway). I wrote in September (here) about a planned fare hike (British English word) that targeted frequent travelers. It was due to take place on October 15th. Here is the sign they posted in all subway stations:
Bangkok Subway Fares Going Up Again
Just before October 15th. they decided to defer the fare increase until November 30th. (today). Here is a not-very-good photo of the poster with the new date stuck on.

Fare Increase Postponed

That was a little but of  good news.

Today was meant to be the first day of the new fares. But today I saw this notice in my local subway station:

Second Change

They have discontinued the 30-Day pass which was due to rise from 1,000 Baht to 1,150 Baht. They have a 15-Day pass for 600 Baht, thus 1,200 Baht for 30 days. And that price is only guaranteed until February 28, 2010.

Previously they said they would cancel the 10% discount passengers get by buying a prepaid card. Now that “promotion” (actually the Subway’s free use of passengers’ money) has been graciously extended until July 2, 2010.

Fortunately I bought a 30-Day pass on November 29th at the old price of 1,000 Baht. So I am doing well until January.

I wonder what the Subway Management team thinks it is doing. There are thousands of regular commuters who use the 30-Day pass. Why did they discontinue it? Do they think travelers will not notice the 20% increase if they buy two 15-Day passes?

There must be turmoil in their system to make two changes so suddenly. I wonder if politics are involved. Inevitably!

Free Bangkok Subway on December 5, 2009

November 25, 2009

Bangkok Subway Free on the King's Birthday

In honour of the birthday of HM the King the Bangkok Subway (MRT) will be free on December 5th, 2009.

I like free, but unfortunately I’ll be out-of-town.

I have a 30-day pass. I don’t think they extend the validity of the pass by a day to compensate. That’s a swizz as we used to say when I was a kid.

I took this picture outside Hua Lamphong Subway Station. I apologise for the pincushion distortion of the Nikon Coolpix P6000’s lens when it is set to wide-angle.

Lines and Curves

November 18, 2009

Thailand Cultural Centre Subway Station
I like the complex lines and curves in this view of the entrance to Thailand Cultural Centre Subway Station next to the large Esplanade complex and the RS Tower skyscraper.

Maybe the rainy season is over: we had a lovely blue sky on Tuesday.

Confession: I removed some unsightly power lines in Photoshop.

Bangkok Subway Fares Going Up Again

September 18, 2009

I saw this notice on the Bangkok Subway (MRTA) today:

Bangkok Subway Fares Going Up Again

The 30-day pass is going up 15% to 1,150฿ on 15th October 2009. They are canceling the 10% discount for using a stored value card. But they are introducing a new 15-day pass for 600฿. They don’t say they are changing the cash fares so they are targeting the regular travelers.

Subway 30-Day Pass

Subway 30-Day Pass

The 30-Day pass was 800฿ a month in 2007 when I started buying them. I don’t know what the official inflation rate is in Thailand but this seems well in excess of other price increases.

Still, the subway is very cheap compared with Western countries.

Note the pincushion distortion from the lens of my Nikon Coolpix P6000 at a short focal length.