Bangkok (1999-2009)/Bangkok and BTS skytrain:The initiation of service on “Skytrain” in centre of Bangkok

Bangkok (1999-2009)/Bangkok and BTS skytrain:The initiation of service on “Skytrain” in centre of Bangkok
Phahonyothin Road during the evening rush hour (Fig.2)

Severe Traffic congestion problem

Since the population in Bangkok increased rapidly in from 1980 to 2010, from 8 million to almost 15 million(Wendell Cox, 2012), a huge increase make Bangkok became one of the world’s most highly congested cities, creating most severe traffic congestion and related air pollution problem. Although Thailand government tried various effort to improve traffic problem, such as building more primary and secondary roads, minimizing of using vehicle cars and providing better and more extensive bus services, the private vehicle ownership has still dramatically increased almost 35% in every year.( Dr. J. Michael Cobb. 2009)  The Bangkok’s average speed rates are much lower than other city, it might be even lower when traffic gets worse. During that period, the average speed rates in crowded residential areas only had 10-15 km/ hour.(Linda M. Pfotenhauer, 1994)

Population diagram between 1947 to 2010 (Fig.1)
Population diagram between 1947 to 2010 (Fig.1)

 

Failure of urban planning

Rapid population increase is one of reasons to cause the congestion traffic problem, the failure of urban planning in Bangkok city is also another reasons. Although the centre of Bangkok was well served by freeways, the Thai government failed to provide the necessary of secondary road infrastructure. The best way to solve traffic congestion was to expand underdeveloped secondary road system and produce more commercial and employment growth in outer area of Bangkok. Therefore, this could help decentralized the flow of traffic. However, the government also suggested to expand the rapid transit system in order to solve the traffic problem in very high density centres of Bangkok. This had little help for solving the problem, but not a big potential to bring under permanent control on traffic congestion, but the intense traffic congestion and long commutes in cities well served with transit indicates.

Phahonyothin Road during the evening rush hour (Fig.2)
Phahonyothin Road during the evening rush hour (Fig.2)

The initiation of Bangkok Skytrain

At the central of Bangkok, most of workers spent for about one-quarter of time of working hour on commute time according to The Express and Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand. This would not only result to negative effects on business efficiency and productivity, but also creating health impacts from lead-related exhaust pollution. Thai government had been many planning efforts within the past 15 years, but so far few implemented coordinated projects, especially an elevated rail system. It have been planned in Bangkok for over 20 years, lack of public funding was the prime obstacle. However, with the assistance of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and others in 1995, the project was structured as 30 year Build Operate-Transfer (BOT) turn-key contract with a fixed-price, delivery date and guaranteed performance. Tanayong is the private funded on this system around $1.7 billion. (Agaligo Naga.2002) The Bangkok Mass Transit System is known as the BTS or the “skytrain”, it basically has two lines and running from north-south and east-west intersecting lines running over two of the most highly congested roadway corridors in the city, Silom and Sukhumvit Roads. And it started operation in 1999.

BTS skytrain at the centre of Bangkok(Fig.3)
BTS skytrain at the centre of Bangkok(Fig.3)

 

 

Reference:

Dr. J. Michael Cobb. Bangkok’s Mass Transit: Financing the ‘mega’ Projects.  last modified 2009. accessed December 8,2016. http://www.idcworld.com/bangkok/

Cox, Wendell. “The Evolving Urban Form: Bangkok.”  newgeography. December 29, 2012. accessed December 8,2016. http://www.newgeography.com/content/003367-the-evolving-urban-form-bangkok.

Linda M. Pfotenhauer, “Bangkok Traffic Congestion: Is There a Solution?” TDRI Quarterly Review 9, no. 2 (June 1994): 20–23. accessed December8,2016. http://www.thaiscience.info/journals/Article/TQR/10475081.pdf 

Agaligo Naga. “Public Transportation Services in Bangkok” (University of Washington,2002) 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.