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Chadchat's bus trip "a flop"

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Transport minister Chadchat Sittipunt spent part of yesterday as an ordinary Bangkok commuter. He didn't enjoy the experience. 

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Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt waits for the No.509 bus in front of the Education Ministry, opposite Government House. The minister chose the city bus service to get to Don Mueang airport yesterday. JEERAPONG PRASERTPOLKRUNG

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Chadchat's bus trip "a flop"

Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt spent part of yesterday as an ordinary Bangkok commuter.

He didn't enjoy the experience.

"The trip was a flop. I didn't get to where I wanted to go," he said. "I share the feelings of [other] bus passengers."

His bus trip came after Mr Chadchat asked senior ministry officials from C-9 rank and up to take a bus at least once a week for two months.

He said he wanted the officials to have first-hand experience of travelling by bus and report back to the ministry on any problems.

His own first-hand experience indicates there are many.

Mr Chadchat said he set aside two hours to get to Don Mueang to catch a flight. It wasn't nearly enough.

After finishing his duties at Government House yesterday, he went outside to catch the air-conditioned No.509 bus about 11am.

Like commuters throughout the city, he waited – and waited and waited.

The bus finally worked its way through the midday traffic and arrived after about 40 minutes. Mr Chadchat hopped on the bus, but by 12.20pm he had managed to travel only a quarter of the way.

Realising he would miss his flight if he did not get off the bus quickly, Mr Chadchat alighted at the busy Victory Monument intersection where he was whisked away to the airport by his chauffeur-driven car -- an alternative not available to the rest of us.

Adapted from a story by Amornrat Mahitthirook in today's Bangkok Post.

transport minister – the minister in charge of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงการคมนาคม
opposite – across from or facing someone or something ที่อยู่ตรงกันข้าม
flop – a complete failure ความล้มเหลว
ordinary – not unusual or different in any way ธรรมดา, ปกติ
commuter – a person who regularly travels between work and home คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
senior – with a high rank or position อาวุโส
rank – someone’s official position in the government, armed forces, police, fire services, etc. ยศ, ตำแหน่ง
first-hand – gained by doing something yourself, obtained directly from someone who is involved in something โดยตรง, ได้รับโดยตรงด้วยตัวเอง
indicate – to show that something is true, exists or will happen แสดง, ทำให้รู้
duty – something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ภารกิจ, ความรับผิดชอบ
midday – 12 o'clock in the middle of the day; the period around this time  เที่ยงวัน, กลางวัน
hop on – to get on a vehicle very quickly
quarter – one of four equal parts of something; 25 percent หนึ่งในสี่ส่วน
realise – to know about ตระหนัก  รู้
alight – to get out of an aircraft or vehicle ลงจากพาหนะ
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
whisk away – to take somebody/something somewhere very quickly and suddenly
chauffeur – a person whose job is to drive a car, especially for somebody rich or important คนขับรถยนต์, โชเฟอร์
alternative – another choice ทางเลือก, ตัวเลือก
available – that you can get, use, find or buy มีอยู่, หาได้

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