Can it flood in the subway? | Bangkok Post: learning

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Can it flood in the subway?

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Nightmarish to even daydream about, subways are protected by 2.7 meters of barriers, but most people are staying home anyway.

subway flood walls

Photo of flood protection walls being finished at Rama IX station in preparation for floods in central Bangkok.

Click button to listen to Subway Floods to download

Mass transit ridership nosedives, Many residents flee the city by Nareerat Wiriyapong


The number of commuters using Bangkok's subway and elevated trains has fallen considerably, while the operators have deployed safeguard measures to ensure smooth operation of the system amid threats of flooding in the capital.

Many analysts had accepted the mass-transit operators to gain as city residents left their cars at home, but many people are simply going nowhere at all and this has reduced ridership.

SET-listed Bangkok Metro Plc (BMCL) said average daily ridership has dropped by about 20% this week to 200,000 on weekdays as Bangkok residents take holidays to look after their properties, with some leaving the capital.

With 19 trains, the subway normally earns 5.5 million baht in daily revenue.

Half of the subway's entrances are closed to prevent flooding, said Chartchai Praditpong, BMCL's corporate relations director.

Each subway station is 1.20 metres above street level and functions as a "permanent bunker". BMCL has built flood protection walls adding another 1.50 metres.

If floodwaters reach the second stair of the station, that station will shut down service, he added.

Deputy Bangkok governor Taya Teepsuwan said that if flood waters reach 1.5 metres on the street, the BTS will suspend Skytrain service.

Anat Arbhabhirama, an adviser to the board of BTS Group Holdings Plc, said Skytrain ridership had dipped this week to around 500,000 per weekday. But numbers topped 600,000 on some workdays last week as motorists stopped using their cars

"At present, if they don't have a serious need, Bangkok residents will stay home, while some have already fled town," Dr Anat said. 

Some companies have temporarily shut down, also reducing commuters

"If the flood does not reach 2.25 metres above sea level, our control room and all the systems will not be disrupted," he added.

BMCL shares closed yesterday on the SET at 0.51 baht, up one satang, in trade worth 610,000 baht. BTS shares closed at 0.58 baht, up one satang. 

(Source: Bangkok Post, Mass transit ridership nosedives, Many residents flee the city, 28/10/2011, Nareerat Wiriyapong, link

Floods and Mass Transit Vocabulary

mass - large numbers จำนวนมหาศาล
mass-transit - forms of transport such as subway, bus or elevated train that can move large numbers of people around a city or region, also called "public transport" (See Wikipedia)
mass-transit operators - companies that own and operate mass-transit systems such as the subway or the elevated train
transport - any vehicle such as a car, truck, airplane, boat that can bring people and things from one place to another place (See Wikipedia)

rapid transit - a fast train moving people around a city or region, "an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on elevated rails above street level" (See Wikipedia)
subway - an underground rapid transit system (See Wikipedia)
elevated trains - a rapid transit railway located on special tracks above the ground (See Wikipedia)

commuters - people who regularly travel between work and home คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
commuters using Bangkok's subway and elevated trains

transit - the act of moving from one place to another การเดินทางผ่าน (here means: mass transit)
ridership - the people who ride the trains (usually measured per day)
nosedive - fall or drop suddenly and quickly (the "nose" of an airplane is heading straight at the ground)
transit ridership nosedives - the number of people riding mass transit (subway, skytrain) fell by a very large amount suddenly

nightmare (noun) - a frightening dream
nightmarish (adjective) - very frightening
daydream -  a fantasy; full of happy pleasant things, hopes, ambitions, what you would like in the future; dreaming while awake, in the middle of the day, when you should be working perhaps (See Wikipedia)

barriers -
things such as walls or sandbags that block things such as water อุปสรรค

flee - to escape; leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger หนี อพยพ (in the present)
residents - people who live in an area ผู้อาศัย ผู้อยู่อาศัย ชาวบ้านในบริเวณ ผู้อาศัยในบริเวณ
residents flee the city

fled -
already left a place (in the past)
fled town -
already left the city
some have already fled town

operators
- a company doing some business (here: subway operators)
deployed - prepare a resource so that it is ready to be used
safeguard - protect ป้องกัน
measures - actions taken to deal with a problem มาตราการ
operators have deployed safeguard measures

ensure
- to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน
smooth operation
the capital

ensure smooth operation of the system amid threats of flooding in the capital.

many people are simply going nowhere at all and this has reduced ridership.


average daily ridership -
the usual number of people riding the trains on any day

revenue
- income from taxes or business activities รายได้
daily revenue - the amount of money that the company receives from customers (riders) each day

station
- a place where some activity takes place (for example: power station, police station, fire station, space station, way station)
subway station - a station underground for the subway train that runs underground in a tunnel (See Wikipedia)

X functions as Y -
X is used as a Y (perhaps not what you normally imagine X to be)
permanent - happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future ถาวร
bunker - an undergound place built with strong walls

functions as a "permanent bunker"

flood
protection walls

shut down service -
stop the service (for a period of time)

suspend - to stop for a period of time ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว หยุดชั่วคราว
suspend Skytrain service.

ridership -
the number of people "riding" on some form of transportation (here: elevated train and subway)
Skytrain ridership - the number of people riding on Skytrain

dipped - fell, decreased, went down
Skytrain ridership dipped this week to around 500,000 per weekday

topped -
went above
numbers topped 600,000 on some workdays

motorists
stopped using their cars


temporarily
- only for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว
temporarily shut down

reducing commuters


elevation -
the height of a place above sea level, used to compare the heights of mountains, for example (See Wikipedia)
sea level -
the standard level that elevations are measured from (See Wikipedia)
above sea level
- the standard measure of the elevation of a place (See Wikipedia)
2.25 metres above sea level

control room
- the room with the equipment and workers who control subway operations

disrupted
- interrupted and prevented from continuing smoothly by creating problems ขัดขวาง
all the systems will not be disrupted

trade
- the buying and selling of goods or assets such as stock shares การค้าขาย
shares closed yesterday at 0.51 baht in trade worth 610,000 baht

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