Bangkok (1999-2009)/Bangkok and BTS skytrain:Structure of station
As mentioned before, Skytrain was built in the most built-up areas. Due to inefficient planning of the transportation system in Bangkok, there is always a serious congestion on the streets in the central part of Bangkok, Skytrain is the best solution to solve the problem meanwhile making the least negative impact on the whole environment, including the existing underground service, the use of pavements etc.
The design of the Skytrain aims to provide an alternative transportation choice to people to travel around the city without worsen the existing congestion level since it is built above the ground. At the same time, the transportation on the ground is expected to be less congested with the existence of Skytrain. Consisted of thirty-four stations in total, being operated in two lines, the total length of the Skytrain is nearly 39km and the distance between stations is around 800 to 1000m.(Dr. J. Michael Cobb, 2009) The main business district is also being covered in order to solve the fundamental cause of congestion. From the Fig.1, it could be shown that congestion on street level, skybridge could be also to solve the congestion of human flow on street level.
For the station structure, it is well-designed to match the main objective of the Skytrain. All stations are being structured into three levels, the ground level, the concourse level and the platform level respectively. (Fig.1)The street level allows pedestrians to take the Skytrain easily. With escalators and stairs, people can easily reach the concourse level. There are even sixteen stations equipping the elevator for convenience. (Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited,2011)
At the concourse level, major ticketing services and customer service can be found. Moreover, for a better travelling experience, 15 Skytrain stations are connected to the surrounded neighbour buildings with a skybridge. For example: busy stations such as Siam and Chit Lom, there are skybridges connecting the business buildings, hotels and shopping malls together with the stations.(Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited,2011) The major advantage of skybridge is that it creates a linkage between the stations and the neighbourhood. The stations do not exist alone but also making the surrounding environment as one. This linkage direct people to the concourse level and take the Skytrain on the above platform level. Without the skybridge, people need to go down to the street and go to the concourse level. When it is necessary to reach the street for getting to the station, there will be many people on the street and the congestion level may be worsen. Therefore, skybridge is another fundamental tool for solving the congestion level and maximizing the efficiency of circulation.
At the toppest level, the platform level, where people get on the Skytrain, two designs can be found. The first design limits the use of space that there are two platforms at both side of the station and two trains run at the center. Another design is a bit different in terms of the train track and the number of platform which designed specially for busy stations. There is only one big platform at the middle part and two trains run at separate side.
The structure of the Skytrain shows that the congestion problem has been taken into consideration at the design stage and such skybridge or the three-level structure can improve the street congestion seriousness while bringing convenience to people.
Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited. “Structure of Routes and Stations”. last modified 2011. accessed December 8,2016. http://www.bts.co.th/corporate/en/02-structure02-1-1.aspx
Dr. J. Michael Cobb. Bangkok’s Mass Transit: Financing the ‘mega’ Projects. last modified 2009. accessed December 8,2016. http://www.idcworld.com/bangkok/