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Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)

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Top Ten things to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)

By The Thaiger

 

bts-bangkok-3.jpg

 

Bangkok Transit System, better known by locals and tourists as the ‘Skytrain’, is as ubiquitous in Bangkok as good street food and fake Viagra.

 

It is operated by Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC), a subsidiary of BTS Group Holdings, under a concession granted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

 

The system consists of 43 stations along two lines: the Sukhumvit Line running northwards and eastwards, terminating at Mo Chit and Kheha respectively, and the Silom Line which serves Silom and Sathon Roads, the central business district of Bangkok, terminating at National Stadium and Bang Wa.

 

Bangkok-BTS-Map-from-travelhappydotinfo-

 

There is also the dedicated Airport Link from the city to Suvarnabhumi and soon a line will open to Don Mueang.

 

Besides the BTS, Bangkok’s rapid transit system includes the underground and elevated Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) railway lines. The growth in daily BTS traffic has been huge in the past ten years.

 

Before we get started, whilst it’s 35 degrees outside the BTS, it can often be at least 10 degrees cooler inside. Pleasant on some trips, can get icy cold on others.

 

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The Skytrain system was opened on 5 December 1999 by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Bangkokians avoided it like the plague for the first few years but slowly fell in love with the elevated trains. Now the BTS is a vital part of the Bangkok public transport system with growing numbers of passengers every year.

 

The BTS has a fleet of 52 four-car trains. Here are ten things to know before you travel on the Skytrain.

 

1. No one reads newspapers or magazines anymore, no one!

The future of marketing is in stark focus when riding on the BTS Skytrain. No one reads newspapers or magazines and it’s estimated that 86% of travellers will look at their smartphones at least once during any trip on the BTS. The actual carriages are adorned with marketing messages and branding, some of them completely ‘skinned’ in the branding of paying organisations. The stations feature a lot of screens and large format advertising as well as inside the carriages. Given the 663,000 daily users on the Skytrain, basically a captive audience, where are you spending your marketing baht?

 

The Bangkok Mass Transit System was making more from advertising revenue than ticket sales until 2013.

 

inside-bts-skytrain_x9lbmq.jpg

 

2. One Day Pass is the way to go

At least for tourists who don’t have many days in Bangkok, one day pass is good for travellers who plan to go to at least 2 locations in 1 day. But if your destinations are less than 5 stations apart, then go with Single Journey Ticket. The one day ticket will save you A LOT of time especially in rush-hours when queues for tickets can add to your frustration.

 

To get single-journey tickets you have automatic dispensers where you’ll need to know your way around and have plenty of change with you. Every Skytrain station has helpful staff that are used to tourists and bewildered expats not knowing the system. You can also buy your day passes from these staff.

 

Also (and it could change anytime) there is currently no ‘seniors’ card or discount available on the BTS, although there is a discount currently available for over 60s on the MRT (underground).

 

3. Watch out for slamming gates

The automatic ticket gates open and close fast! So once you’ve popped in your ticket or touched your token onto the gate, those flipper doors will swing open. They slam closed again just seconds later. If you’re not ready to burst through the gate at this time you’ll miss your chance and have the gates grab onto your backpack as you try and get through.

 

4. No Durian!

Thais love their durians but not on the BTS or MRT. You shouldn’t bring anything stinky into the carriage, including yourself. There are security staff doing bag checks at many stations – they’ll detect your durian a lot quicker than they’ll get close enough to find any weapons.

 

5. Let passengers out before you get in

One of the most frustrating things when taking the BTS or MRT is when passengers start rushing in whilst you’re still trying to get off the train. Please let people get out first. BTS and MRT will give you plenty of time and sound an alarm before the doors close.

 

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6. Keep right

Keep to the right side if you want to stand on the escalator. Stay left if you want to walk up or down the escalator. Be assured if you stand on the left side of the escalator someone will give you a polite budge to move across.

 

8. Avoid peak hour

If you don’t like crowds then avoid the BTS at 7-9am and 5-7pm. It’s hell. Consider 10 millions people trying to get from one part of Bangkok to another. You may have to wait until a few trains come and go before you get a chance to get into the carriage. If you’re standing on a platform with thousands of other Bangkokians on a hot April day waiting in peak hour you won’t forget it fast.

 

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9. Know the first and last train time schedules

The BTS first train from Mo Chit and Bearing stations depart at 5:15am and the last train leaves the station at midnight. For the Silom line, the trains start from 5:30am and run to midnight. The MRT (underground) runs from 6am-midnight everyday. Keep in mind that the station gates will be closed approximately 10 minutes before the last train arrives at the station.

 

10. No bathrooms in the stations or actual carriages

There are no restrooms/bathrooms/toilets in BTS or MRT stations or trains. Luckily, there are so many malls by some stations that you can just use their public restrooms along the way. Although the MRT and BTS are the fastest ways to get around Bangkok, if your destinations are far apart, you may need to forward-plan your restroom visits.

 

10a. Not to be confused with the South Korean band

Type in BTS into your Google machine and you’ll get millions of entries about RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, V and Jungkook – the seven members of BTS (which comes from their name in Korean which translates as Bullet-proof Boyscouts – Bangtan Sonyeondan). If you want to find out about the Bangkok Skytrain, type in ‘BTS Bangkok’.

 

The most popular stations for the BTS?

 

Screen-Shot-2019-05-12-at-11.21.59.jpg

 

Source: https://thethaiger.com/thai-life/top-10/top-ten-things-to-know-about-the-bangkok-skytrain-bts

 

 

thtthaiger.png

-- © Copyright The Thaiger 2019-11-21

 

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Not just no Durian. No eating food. Very civilised. London transport stinks of vile food.

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What you really need to know....beware of impolite Chinese shovers,  and backpackers that don't take off their filthy backpacks, and people that stopped right in front of the doors or the escalator to continue their texts.

 

And the article is wrong because I read a book or other printed stuff on the train, and I see students doing it everyday..

 

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I agree, there is a real lack of backpack awareness on the part of the wearers.

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Out of date map in the article.  You would think they could put a correct, complete map in the article.

 

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2 hours ago, notasmartassknowitallfarag said:

Thai people also do not take off their small backpacks when going to work at 7 am when it’s absolutely packed. 

yeah but I dont ride it at 7am. YOu police the Thai offenders, Ill do the farangs and we can clean up the system.

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4 hours ago, Nyezhov said:

What you really need to know....beware of impolite Chinese shovers,  and backpackers that don't take off their filthy backpacks, and people that stopped right in front of the doors or the escalator to continue their texts.

 

And the article is wrong because I read a book or other printed stuff on the train, and I see students doing it everyday..

 

I just keep walking and shove them out of the way. I even shoved one idiot and the two morons behind him back off the train that were trying to cram in during rush hour.

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Let's not forget about the rasist attitude against foreigners. Senior discount for Thais only. This dual pricing for foreigners in any sector breeds nothing but utter contempt. If you stop and think about how much money people spend to come here for tourism and retirement along with foreign aid packages from western governments you will realise just how ungrateful these people really are. I have said it before and I will say it again. "The rest of the world doesn't need Thailand for anything".

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2 minutes ago, BobinBKK said:

Let's not forget about the rasist attitude against foreigners. Senior discount for Thais only. This dual pricing for foreigners in any sector breeds nothing but utter contempt. If you stop and think about how much money people spend to come here for tourism and retirement along with foreign aid packages from western governments you will realise just how ungrateful these people really are. I have said it before and I will say it again. "The rest of the world doesn't need Thailand for anything".

Yeah every time I get charged that extra 4 baht I start flopping around like a spastic tilapia *insert eye roll here*

 

Now what really gets me is the fact there are no special senior early bird prices in the hotel buffets, like in the states where ya can feast with the blue hairs and Red Hats at 4pm. Mabel, could you bring me another slice of pecan pie.

 

Sucks in Thailand because its too hot for a suit jacket. Line the pockets with zip locks and hit those Mantis Shrimps!

 

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I think it’s a fantastic system. Cheap and easy to get around avoiding the horrendous traffic. 

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Two errors:

In #2 in the OP, there is a senior discount on the BTS. But only outside of the rush hours and not at all if you're an 'alien'.

In post #9, there is a discount even for 'aliens' on the MRT. Only the BTS has a racist two-tier pricing system, not the MRT. I wrote to the BTS management and asked how they justify their policy and got no response, because they can't.

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2 hours ago, setbkk said:

Out of date map in the article.  You would think they could put a correct, complete map in the article.

 

Indeed. Also, the rush hours mentioned in the article made me chuckle. Those were the times! At least in Central Bangkok, it's rush hour pretty much all day long nowadays - when fewer people use the BTS, they simply reduce the frequency accordingly.

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I also think the Bangkok BTS combined with the MRT is a fantastic transport network, but can't they just sort out the 'one card' payment system, combine it with the busses and even Taxi's... 

 

Unfortunately I seldom get to use the BTS, living up near Petchaburi Rd its a journey for me to just get to the BTS, but traffic congestion is not as extreme and nearby access to a couple of Expressways. 

 

For me to get to a BTS I would have to take a 15min taxi, then take the escalators, then queue for change (if I haven't any) then queue for a ticket (I don't have the rabbit card as I seldom use the BTS) then wait for the train - but this time I'm hot and sweating - then enter the Icy cool carriage (the best part the journey), then at my destination I have to walk in the heat. 

 

Its quicker for me to go places on my Motorcycle - but its too hot.

I can't get most places in a reasonable time in AC comfort in my car.

We use the BTS in periods of peak traffic if our destination at the other end is close to the station...i.e. if going o MBK, Paragon, Chatuchak etc and tend to park up at Either EmQuartier, Emporium or Gateway Ekammai.

 

For those living within 2mins walk of a BTS station, it must be great !

 

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1 hour ago, Bangkok Barry said:

I wrote to the BTS management and asked how they justify their policy and got no response, because they can't.

Or because its not worth their time to respond. You shouldnt ride the train, that will show them.

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