Bangkok (1999-2009)/Bangkok and BTS skytrain:The selection of elevated light rail system, but not subway system
As before said, there was a severe traffic congestion in center of Bangkok.The government had been planned to build rapid mass transit system running over two of the most highly congested roadway corridors, Silom and Sukhumvit Roads in Bangkok. However, the selection of system to solve the traffic congestion problem was elevated light rail system, not subway system. There are 4 main advantages of using elevated light rail system in this case.
Minimized influence to most highly congested roadway in Bangkok
Firstly, the rapid mass system was built on two most highly congested roadway corridors in Bangkok and the situation of congestion was top three in the world. Therefore, it was hard to block the roads to dig subway for underground system. This might even cause huge economic cost as the transportation at the center of Bangkok was paralyzed. Conversely, the construction of elevated light rail system was only occupied the road partially. From the Fig.1, it can be seen that the situation of under construction, the construction was only occupied the middle of the roads, the cars are still can be passed by at the side of the roads. (Railway Technology, 2016) This could result to minimize the influence to most highly roadway.
Low Construction Time
Lower construction time could also help minimize the influence to the two roadways. The construction of elevated structure could be precast before the construction started to build on the site, whereas the time cost would be higher for digging subway. This could be related to minimize the influence to two most high congested roadways.
Less planning time compared to subway system
Besides, the construction site was in most built-up areas over the two most congested roads. (Railway Technology, 2016) Therefore, this would be related to the foundations of buildings along two sides of two roads. Subway system might cause structural damage to the buildings foundations as well as it might need much more planning time to construct the subway system with the structural damage to other buildings. The elevated system could be more efficiency on planning time and minimize the difficulties of construction. The Fig.2 is the evident of the BTS was built in the most built-up areas, the random curve railways were built according to surrounding environment.
Increase efficiency of circulation between station and commercial hub
Lastly, the elevated rail system could be more efficiency of circulation between station and commercial hub. From the Fig.3, it can be found out that there is a footbridge below the elevated railway and it is connected from the station to the shopping mall one the left side and exchange tower on the right side. Passengers can save more time comparing to walking from underground to the road surface. This can be another way to say that the commute time can be minimized according to most of workers spent for about one-quarter of time of working hour on commute time before construction of “sky train”. (Agaligo Naga.2002)
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
Agaligo Naga. “Public Transportation Services in Bangkok” (University of Washington,2002)
Railway Technology. “Bangkok Skytrain Transit System, Thailand”. accessed December 8,2016. http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/bangkok/bangkok3.html