A Combination of Convenience and Efficiency
A comparatively new and revolutionary system of transportation, Bangkok skytrain has transformed the cityscape as well as the lifestyle of many people. Opened on December, 5, 1999, the 72nd birthday of HM the King, BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) interconnected the major central points of the capital and relieved heavy traffic to a certain extent.
23 stations along 2 lines – Sukhumvit line and Silom line – make it a matter of a few minutes to reach all main shopping centers, entertainment zones and business districts. Bangkok skytrain is known for its cleanness, efficiency and well-organized structure. Automated ticket counters are easy to use, maps are provided for free, and helpful English-speaking staff is always available in case of any problem.
All stations are elevated and have two levels. The first level houses ticket booths, cash exchange, and pass gates as well as some small kiosks and stalls selling food stuff and various little goods. The second level is where the platform and rails are situated. The platforms are conveniently marked showing where the doors are going to be after the train stops. In busy hours, passengers line up opposite each mark up, and it is the height of bad manners to make your way to the train doors, ignoring the people patiently waiting in the line.
The cost of travel is relatively cheap, and office goers of all sorts often prefer traveling by BTS rather than driving as morning and evening rush hours can be a nightmare for any land transport. The ticket types vary, so every passenger has quite a few choices. There are special options for frequent travelers, tourists, students as well as single passes. The cost per trip may vary or be a set fare, depending on the type of a ticket or card.
Bangkok skytrain is an indispensable way of getting around in the life of the modern capital. The train seems to be traveling over the rooftops, opening a splendid view of the city. Visitors rarely miss the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful experience of a trip on a sunny clear day, when the magnificent Thai capital looks especially impressive. Please mind that eating and drinking are prohibited on the platform as well as in the train.
A few central skytrain stations are connected by the so-called pedestrian sky path, leading to the biggest shopping malls and other public facilities as well as crossing a few popular sights, including the Erawan Shrine close to the Chidlom station. Bangkok skytrain is also conveniently interchangeable with the MRT (metro) at Asoke, Sala Daeng and Mochit stations.
The Bangkok skytrain system is still expanding, and a few extensions are scheduled to be open in 2008 and 2011. The plan includes extending the line, which now terminates on On Nut station farther towards the new Suvarnabhumi airport. The delays in construction work are mostly attributed to competing political parties, which control the different aspects of the skytrain extension work.
Bangkok skytrain operates from 6 a.m. till midnight, and in rush hours the interval between trains takes no more than 2-3 minutes.
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