Get ready for traffic jams & long commutes

Railway construction & 1.3 million new cars from govt program will increase traffic for many years to come before railways are finished.

A large crowd of people submit documents for tax rebates under the first-time car buyer scheme at the Excise Department (Photo: Sontanaporn Inchan).

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Local News

Traffic snarls to last five years

Railway projects, vehicle boom battle for space
1/01/2013
Amornrat Mahitthirook

The Transport Ministry is warning Bangkok residents to brace for what could be five years of extraordinary traffic congestion.

The addition of more than 1 million new cars as part of the first car-buyer scheme, coupled with less road space during the onset of several new electric railway projects could make Bangkok commutes even more miserable.

...the construction of four of five new railway projects will begin between this month and September.

The construction sites will compete for road space with an increasing number of vehicles....

...Rather than encouraging motorists to buy new cars, as the government has done under the first-time buyer scheme, the government now plans to come up with measures to reduce the number of private vehicles.

...It is possible the government will start charging motorists for using roads in inner Bangkok...

...The Jor Sor 100 FM radio station, which broadcasts city traffic reports, said unusual traffic congestion has been noticed outside of rush hour periods since late last year...

...By Dec 29 last year, 1,194,000 first-time car buyers had registered for tax rebates from the government under the new scheme, according to the Excise Department.

The department said the number of new cars may have reached 1.3 million by last night's deadline for internet applications.

Bangkok can accommodate 1.6 million vehicles, but last year there were more than 7 million registered vehicles in the city, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Extreme road congestion is expected to last until at least 2017.

Phahon Yothin Road, where the Dark Green Line will be built, is likely to be among the most congested routes...

Gridlocks have been experienced by many motorists on sections of Phetkasem and Charan Sanitwong roads, where sections of the 27km Blue Line connecting Bang Sue, Tha Phra and Bang Kae are being built...

... the average speed for rush-hour traffic is now around 16.5 kilometres per hour inbound and 23.5 km/h outbound. This is likely to grow worse in the near future.

Critics have blamed the government for using taxpayers' money for unproductive goals and say the amount lost in tax rebates would be better used to build more public transport such as a high-speed railway.

Estimates are that 78 billion baht would probably be sufficient to build a high-speed train running from Bangkok-Rayong and would certainly be more than enough for the distance to Pattaya.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Local News, Traffic snarls to last five years, Railway projects, vehicle boom battle for space, 1/01/2013, Amornrat Mahitthirook, link and also: Car dream may become a nightmare, 2/01/2013, link)


Transportation Vocabulary

traffic - 1. the number of cars on the road การจราจร; 2. the number traveling to a place during a period of time (people, aircraft, ships, trains, cars, trucks, etc.) ความหนาแน่นของจำนวนคน หรือยานพาหนะในช่วงเวลาใดช่วงเวลาหนึ่ง

traffic jam -  when there are a lot of cars on the road and long waits to get to where you are going การจราจรติดขัด

congestion - a situation in which a place is crowded with people or vehicles, many people in a small space แน่นขนัดไปด้วยรถหรือคน

traffic congestion - Same as "traffic jam"
traffic reports

extraordinary - a very large amount of something
extraordinary traffic congestion

extreme -
too much or too many of something
extreme road congestion - too many cars on the road

route -
a road or way from getting from one place to another  ทาง
congested routes - roads with many cars on them

traffic snarls - traffic jams
traffic snarls to last five years

vehicle - a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. ยานพาหนะ
boom -
a sudden increase in something
vehicle boom - when there are suddenly many cars on the road

space  - open area that can be used for some activity, room ที่ว่าง,  พื้นที่ว่าง
battle for space - fighting for limited space to do things (like drive cars)
 

railway projects, vehicle boom battle for space

residents - people who live in a particular place or area ชาวบ้านในบริเวณ ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ ผู้อยู่อาศัย ผู้อาศัย ราษฎรในบริเวณนั้น
Bangkok residents - people who live in Bangkok

extraordinary - done in addition to the normal activities of an organisation เป็นพิเศษ
five years of extraordinary traffic congestion

brace - 1. to get ready for something unpleasant เตรียม เตรียมใจ 2. to make your body, or a part of it, stiff and stronger in order to support yourself or to do something that needs a lot of physical effort ยึดให้แน่น

the Transport Ministry is warning Bangkok residents to brace for what could be five years of extraordinary traffic congestion.

scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
the first car-buyer scheme

coupled with -
combined with
onset - the beginning of something, especially something unpleasant การเริ่มต้น กำเริบ

commutes - travels เดินทาง
miserable - very unhappy, unpleasant and causing unhappiness เดือดร้อน, เป็นทุกข์ having little value or quality แย่

these factors could make Bangkok commutes even more miserable

The addition of more than 1 million new cars as part of the first car-buyer scheme, coupled with less road space during the onset of several new electric railway projects could make Bangkok commutes even more miserable.

construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง

...the construction of four of five new railway projects will begin between this month and September.

compete for - when two or more people are fighting for the same limited things or resources
vehicles - machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ

the construction sites will compete for road space with an increasing number of vehicles....

come up with -
to create something new
measures - actions taken to solve a problem มาตรการ
come up with measures
- create new ways to solve problems

come up with measures to reduce the number of vehicles

...rather than encouraging motorists to buy new cars, as the government has done under the first-time buyer scheme, the government now plans to come up with measures to reduce the number of private vehicles.

charging - require that people pay money for something

...It is possible the government will start charging motorists for using roads in inner Bangkok...

rush - to move or do something very quickly รีบเร่ง, วิ่ง
rush hour - the time of day when many people have left their workplace and are going home (many traffic jams)

...The Jor Sor 100 FM radio station, which broadcasts city traffic reports, said unusual traffic congestion has been noticed outside of rush hour periods since late last year...

rebates - getting money back, after you pay for something
tax rebates - getting some of the tax you paid back

registered - officially recorded with the government (and given permission to do or get something)  
rebates - giving money back after payment
registered for tax rebates

...By Dec 29 last year, 1,194,000 first-time car buyers had registered for tax rebates from the government under the scheme, according to the Excise Department.

deadline - a time or day by which something must be done เส้นตาย
last night's
deadline for internet applications

The department said the number of new cars may have reached 1.3 million by last night's deadline for internet applications.

accommodate - to provide a place for someone or something ให้ที่พักพิง
Bangkok can accommodate 1.6 million vehicles

registered vehicles
last year there were more than 7 million registered vehicles in the city

Bangkok can accommodate 1.6 million vehicles, but last year there were more than 7 million registered vehicles in the city, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
extreme road congestion is expected to last until at least 2017.

routes
congested routes

Phahon Yothin Road, where the Dark Green Line will be built, is likely to be among the most congested routes...

gridlock -
same as "traffic jam"

gridlocks have been experienced by many motorists on sections of Phetkasem and Charan Sanitwong roads, where sections of the 27km Blue Line connecting Bang Sue, Tha Phra and Bang Kae are being built...

inbound - travelling into a city ขาเข้า 
outbound
- travelling out of a city ขาออก

... the average speed for rush-hour traffic is now around 16.5 kilometres per hour inbound and 23.5 km/h outbound.

transport - to move people or things from one place to another ขนส่ง

productive -
using the things or resources you have to achieve more or produce more 
unproductive -
not productive; does not improve the situtation
unproductive goals -
goals that do not improve the situation

Critics have blamed the government for using taxpayers' money for unproductive goals and say the amount lost in tax rebates would be better used to build more public transport such as a high-speed railway.

estimate - to say what you think an amount is by guessing or using available information to calculate คาดคะเน, ประมาณ
sufficient - enough พอเพียง

estimates are that 78 billion baht would probably be sufficient to build a high-speed train running from Bangkok-Rayong and would certainly be more than enough for the distance to Pattaya.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer