Plans for a commuter-friendly Bangkok

For starters, the Transport Minister wants commuters to be able to use a single ticket for all Bangkok mass transit services by 2015, services which will be greatly extended by 2019.

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If all goes according to plan, that ticket will be good for all Bangkok mass transit services by 2015.


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Plans for a commuter-friendly Bangkok

Transport Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat and his Pheu Thai Party-led government have grand plans for mass-transit in Bangkok.

If all goes smoothly, getting around the city should be cheaper and more convenient as early as 2015.

The easiest and least expensive part of the plan is the introduction of a joint-ticketing system whereby commuters can gain access to all forms of mass transit – elevated trains, subway trains, buses and boats – by using a single ticket.

ACM Sukumpol said his ministry has worked out guidelines for the introduction of a flat-rate ticket price of 20 baht for all mass transit services. However, he refused to elaborate on the guidelines.

He shrugged off concerns there might be problems regarding the use of a joint-ticketing system for BTS Skytrain and subway systems as the BTS Skytrain is under the supervision of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, controlled by the opposition Democrat Party.

The rest of the plan will be far more expensive and complicated since it involves construction projects.

Under Bangkok’s original master plan, construction of 10 mass-transit rail lines in the city and surrounding provinces with a distance of 410km will start within four years and work will be completed between 2015 and 2019. Those electric railway routes will be extended to 464km by 2029.

The mass-transit rail lines require a total investment of 397 billion baht. Two projects are in the bidding stage and six more projects are expected to enter the bidding stage this year.

Authorities have set the timeframe to call bidding for eight projects in 2015. After 2019, five mass transit line extension projects will be built. Of the 10 lines, the Airport Rail Link (Phaya Thai to Suvarnabhumi Airport) has been built and the Light Red Line's 15km section from Bang Sue to Taling Chan is 85% complete.

The other eight projects are the Dark Red Line with a distance of 80.8km, Dark Green Line (66.5km), Light Green Line (55km), Blue Line (55km), Purple Line (42.8km), Orange Line (32.5 km), Pink Line (36km) and Yellow Line (30.4km).

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

commuter – a person who regularly travels between work and home คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
mass transit – the system of moving large numbers of people around in a city, including buses, trains, subways, etc.  การขนส่งมวลชน
extend – to include something more; to make something longer  ขยายออกไป
grand – very big ใหญ่โต
smoothly – happening or continuing without any problems โดยไม่มีปัญหา
convenient – easy to do, or not causing problems or difficulties สะดวก
joint – done together ที่ร่วมกัน
gain access – to get the opportunity or right to have or use something ได้โอกาสในการใช้
elevated – raised above the ground, or higher than the surrounding area ซึ่งอยู่ในระดับที่สูงกว่าสิ่งอื่น
guidelines – official instructions or advice about how to do something สิ่งที่ช่วยแนะแนวทางให้ปฏิบัติ
flat-rate – a price that is the same for everyone and in all situations; a single price for a service ราคาเหมา
elaborate – to add more information to or explain something that you have said อธิบายเพิ่มเติม
shrug off – to show that something does not worry or upset you ไม่เอาใจใส่, ไม่สนใจ
concern – a worry ความกังวล
supervision – the process of making sure that something is being done properly  การควบคุมดูแล การตรวจตรา
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) – the local government of Bangkok กรุงเทพมหานคร
opposition – of a political party that is not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน  
complicated – difficult to deal with, do or understand  ซับซ้อน
construction – the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
original – existing at the beginning of a particular period, process or activity เดิม, ซึ่งเป็นแบบฉบับ
master plan – a detailed plan that will make a complicated project successful
rail line – a track with rails on which trains run; a system of tracks, together with the trains that run on them เส้นทางของรถไฟ, ระบบทางรถไฟ, รางรถไฟ
surrounding – all around a place  บริเวณรอบๆ
route – the roads, rails, etc. used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
investment – the act of investing money in something การลงทุน
bid – an offer to buy or provide something at a specific price ยื่นเสนอราคา
stage – a particular point in time during a process or set of events ช่วงเวลา
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
timeframe – a period of time when something happens or must happen เงื่อนเวลา

Related search: Bangkok mass transit plans, joint-ticketing

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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