The number of people leaving the car at home and taking BTS, Bangkok's light rail system, has hit all time highs with rising oil prices. Trains have been added.
TRANSPORT: BTS ridership hits record by Nareerat Wiriyapong
The number of SkyTrain commuters rose to a record high of 14.4 million last month, thanks partly to high oil prices, with daily ridership also setting a one-day record on April 1, the operator said.
Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), part of SET-listed BTS Group Holding Plc, also attributed the record numbers both year-on-year and month-on-month to new trains added to its service and the opening of new condominiums along the line.
Ridership in March surged 10.8% from the same period of 2010 and nearly 20% from a month earlier when all 12 four-car trains were added to the congested Silom line, said chief operating officer Surapong Lao-ha Unya.
"As we have more capacity, more passengers are willing to use our service during rush hours. Also, new condominiums along the lines have added new customers," said Mr Surapong.
Rising prices of petrol, meanwhile, have encouraged Bangkok commuters to opt for public transport services including the BTS SkyTrain. Even though some people might cut spending on concerns over high oil prices, transport is considered their necessary expenses, he added.
In March, daily ridership averaged 505,000, up by 70,000 year-on-year, generating revenue of 353 million baht for the month. Daily passengers stood at 572,000 at the beginning of April despite a normal seasonal slowdown this month.
For the three months to March, which is the final quarter for BTSC's fiscal year, passengers totalled 39.3 million trips with an average fare of 24 baht per trip.
"We are encouraged by the ridership this month and next. Last year we recorded lower-than-normal figures because of political protests," he said.
The company expects 50,000 more customers when the 5.2-kilometre On Nut-Baring extension opens in August. BTSC and Bangkok Metro Plc (BMCL), the SET-listed operator of the Bangkok subway, are the only two qualified bidders for the 24-km Purple Line running from Bang Sue to Bang Yai, for which bidding results are expected to be announced later this month.
BTS shares closed yesterday on the SET at 0.79 baht, up three satang, in trade worth 423.6 million baht
(Source: Bangkok Post, TRANSPORT, BTS ridership hits record, 20/04/2011, Nareerat Wiriyapong, link)
Mass Transit Vocabulary
transport - to move people or things from one place to another ขนส่ง
public transport - transportation that any person (the public) can use, that can move large numbers of people around the city at the same time such as trains and buses (See Wikipedia)
mass transit - same as "public transportation"
mass transit system - a form of public transportation that large numbers of people use everyday, to and from work and shopping, usually a subway, bus, or lightrail train in a city
Skytrain - the elevated light rail public transportation system in Bangkok, Thailand, operated by Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BTSC) under a concession granted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), with 23 stations along 2 lines, it was opened on December 5, 1999 (See Wikipedia)
Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) - same as the "Skytrain"
ridership - all the people who ride the trains (during one day or during one month, for example)
surged - increased quickly เพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
congested - crowded, having too many people in a small area
commuters - people who regularly travel to and from work on trains, buses, in their own cars, car pools, etc คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
line - train line, one stretch of train tracks connecting two places (example: the train line between downtown Bangkok and Suwarnabhumi Airport)
extension - an increase in the length of something (here: a longer train line) ขยายขอบเขตออกไป
capacity - the amount of something that can be handled or produced in a period of time ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)
rush - to move or do something very quickly รีบเร่ง, วิ่ง
rush hours - the periods of time during the day when there are many cars on the road, when people are travelling to and from work (commuting)
officer - a high level person in an organisation with special responsibilities (a government officer, a police officer, an army officer)
Chief Operating Officer (COO) - the highest level manager in a company, responsible for the business operations of the company
record - the best or most ever achieved สถิติ
period - a time period
petrol - gasoline
encouraged - having more confidence or hope about something มีกำลังใจ
opt - to make a choice or a decision from a range of possibilities เลือก
opt for Y - choose Y
services - บริการต่างๆ things produced in service industries, not a physical good that can be bought, a waitress and a cook in a restaurant provide a service, technically: a sequence of activities that does not result in ownership of the outcome (See Wikipedia on services and the goods and services continuum)
concerns - worries, things or issues that people worry about and think a lot about ความกังวล
revenue - income from taxes or business activities รายได้
generating revenue - making money for the company (money coming into the company before expenses are taken out)
seasonal slowdown - a time of the year when business normally slows down (fewer customers and less money coming into the business as revenue)
quarter - one of three time periods that are three months of a year (or one quarter of the year): 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter (a period of time used for budgeting and financial reporting within companies and organizations)
final quarter - the third quarter, the last three months of the year
fiscal - related to government spending, connected with the government budget, i.e., public money เกี่ยวกับงบประมาณ
fiscal year - the period of one year on the calendar used for budgeting money to different projects and departments and for reporting on the financial performance of a company or other organization
fare - the money paid to ride on transportation such as a bus or a train
figures - statistics, numbers describing the economy
protests - meetings, sometimes forceful or violent, or public statements by people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
bidding - making an offer in an auction (here trying to offer to do project for lowest cost and thus win contract)
results - what is produced in the end by an activity or task
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
trade - the buying and selling of goods การค้าขาย
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