Skytrain News 1999

From Thaipost Thaipost (December 9, 1999) reported that the NESDB made a point to BMA that BTS should get a concession to construct extensions without calling a new bid to reduce the implementation costs and eliminate any inconvenience in having dual systems on the same lines. BTS said if the BMA asks the BTS to construct the extensions, BTS will charge passengers 3 baht/km for the extensions. BMA retorted that BTS should stick with the 10-40 baht fare as mentioned in the contract.

From Prachacart Thurakit Prachacart Thurakit (December 13-15, 1999) reported the Thai Farmer Bank Research Center Poll conducted from 1,155 Bangkokians - 55.8 % males, and 44.2 females - most (68.3%) 21-40 years old on the Skytrain. This poll was conducted from November 26-December 2, 1999. The poll results show that: 69.9% knew about the Skytrain routes, and 89.9% feel interested in using the service. 71.1% said they will use Skytrain only once a week since Skytrain is more expensive than air-conditioned buses. 83.1% said "park and rides" at the ends of the lines are must-have facilities for passengers. 85% said escalators should be installed in every station even though the BTS feels reluctant to do so. 65.2% said 10-30 baht rate is a fair deal to them. 17.8% said the 10-40 baht and 10-45 baht will be a suitable fare rate for them. 90.8% said they want to see BTS Skytrain extended to the Thonburi side, 39.4% to Sanam Luang, 27.9% to Bang Kapi, 13.6% to Ngam Wongwan, and the other 19.1% want to see the BTS extensions to suburb areas such as Rangsit and Bang Na.

Fare rate BTS will collect from the passengers if they implement the proposed extensions:

Samrong Extensions: From Mo Chit Station to On Nut 40 baht Samphob Naruemit 43 baht Punnnawithee 46 baht Udomsuk 49 baht Bearing 55 baht Thepharak 61 baht Samrong Tai 67 baht

Taksin Extensions: From Mo Chit Station to Taksin Bridge 40 baht Krung Thonburi 43 baht Wongwian Yai 46 baht

Rama III Extensions: From Mo Chit Station to Chong Nonsee 40 baht Thung Mahamek 43 baht Chan Road 46 baht Yannawa 49 baht Rama III 52 baht Nonsee Road 55 baht Wat Klong Mai 58 baht Wat Dan 61 baht Wat Pariwat 64 baht Sathupradid Pier 67 baht Nong Ngoohao Extensions: From Mo Chit Station to On Nut 40 baht Samphob Naruemit 43 baht Punnnawithee 46 baht Udomsuk 49 baht Bang Na 52 baht Central City Bang Na 58 baht Sri Nakharin 61 baht Ramkhamhaeng 2 73 baht King Kaeo 85 baht Nong Ngoohao 103 baht

Notes: Since the Rama III extension is actually one of 11 feeder lines, we can approximate the names of stations for that lines at this time since the OCMLT has not implemented the list of stations yet. The unofficial approximation of the stations for this proposed Rama III line will be as follows:

First Phase : (Rama III Extension) 0 Chong Nonsee 1 Thung Mahamek 2 Chan Road 3 Yannawa 4 Rama III 5 Nonsee Road 6 Wat Klong Mai 7 Wat Dan 8 Wat Pariwat 9 Sathupradid Pier Second Phase: (just a proposed route) 10 Wat Dokmai 11 Rama IX Bridge 12 Nuea-Tai Road 13 Bang Khau Laem 14 Thanon Tok 15 Wat Phraya Krai 16 Southern Bangkok District Court 17 Wat Sutthiwararam 18 Taksin Bridge

BTS can build the Thonburi and Bang Na extensions since they are in the BTS extension plans. However, the BTS may have to make 80:20 deal with BMA so the city administration will also shoulder the investment cost instead of BTS alone. I do not think that Sanam Luang and Bang Kapi extension will become a reality. For the Sanam Luang case, Skytrain construction is prohibited in the Rattanakosin island (The Center of Bangkok). Only the subway will be able to run through the city center. BTS can build a Skytrain to Yotse intersection (near Kasatsuek Bridge) and then would have to dig a tunnel along Rama I Road to the Giant Swing and then turn right to Democracy Monument and go along Ratchadamnoen Avenue to Sanam Luang. Is that something the BTS is going to do? Definitely not (for now)! Even worse, this Sanam Luang extensions is NOT in the OCMLT plan at all! Therefore, the only possible thing is to wait until the MRTA finishes the construction of the subway line (first phase and Southern extension). In the case of Bangkapi, they will have to construct the Northern extension to Ratchayothin first. After that, they will be able to construct a Skytrain route along Ratchadaphisek Inner Ring Road to Lad Phrao and then go along Lad Phrao Road to Bang Kapi (Happyland Market). After that, it will go along Sukhaphiban 1 Road (AKA Nawamin Road) to Km 8 (AKA Jarakhe Bua area) of Kannayao district. This extension from Ratchayothin to Km 8 is ACTUALLY another feeder line in the 11 feeder lines for the Bangkok Mass transit project and BMA will be in charge of the line. For Rangsit and Ngam Wongwan extensions, I think it's up to Mr. Khiree Kanchanaphak's ability to revive that hopeless Hopewell Project. If he and his companions can revive the project successfully, then the BTS will be able to connect with the Red Line at Phayathai Station.

Register to Get the First Skytrain Collectibles The first Skytrain collectible will be a limited-edition set of four commemorative tickets bearing the portrait of HM The King and a 300 baht stored value ticket. The price will be 999 baht. You have to pre-register in order to get it. The registration form is here. It is only in Thai so here is the English translation of the form: First Name: Family Name: Age: Sex: Male: Female: Address: Phone: Mobile: Email: They will call and email those who register with a confirmation number. The ticket must be picked up on a specified date at BTS headquarters. Payment by cash or cashier's check only.

Various news items

Skytrain Extension Public Hearings There will be public hearings on the BTS extension set up by the BMA (http://www.bma.go.th) on November 27, 1999 at the Meteorological Department, Bang Na for Samrong Extension and on November 28, 1999 at the St. Louis Hospital for Taksin Extension. The public hearing on the Sathupradid extensions were accepted by most people and the BMA will forward the hearing results to Bureau of Environmental Plans and Policies. The Environmental Impact Study for the BTS extensions will be forwarded to Bureau of Environmental Plans and Policies in early December, 1999. The committee on BTS extensions also send information about the feasibility of the total private investment for the BTS extensions to National Economic and Social Development Board (http://www.nesdb.go.th). from Matichon Daily (http://www.matichon.co.th), November 24, 1999

Nong Ngoo Hao Skytrain Extension a Few Years Off BITEC tried to lobby BTS to construct the Nong Ngoo Hao extension to attract more customers to BITEC (International Trade and Exhibition Center - http://www.bitec.net). However, it is unlikely that BTS will construct the Nong Ngoo Hao extensions for now. They will probably wait until the official opening of the New Bangkok International Airport in 2005. The construction of the Nong Ngoo Hao extension will probably start around 2003-2004. from Matichon Daily (http://www.matichon.co.th), November 23, 1999

Small Kids Ride Free Children whose height is less than 90 cm (3 feet) will ride the Skytrain for free. from Thai Post Daily (http://www.thaipost.net), November 23, 1999

New Railway Line to Unite Bangkok Mass Transit with Provinces . The Subcommittee of Mass Transit System passed a resolution to approve the study of the development of the Mae Klong line and Wongwian Yai Railway Station to become the Taksin Transportation Center (Southern Bangkok Terminal). This would connect the mass transit in Bangkok to interprovincial transportation. The Mae Klong Rail Line will be connected to the southern SRT Line at Pak Tho in Ratchaburi district and the northern SRT line at Hua Lamphong so the travel distance to the south will be shortened by 50 km. Wongwian Yai Station will become Taksin Transportation Center to connect the BTS, the MRTA Orange Line, and eventually the Hopewell project. Presently, Mae Klong Line is very dilapidated with only a single track, separated into 2 sections (Wongwian Yai - Mahachai and Ban Laem- Mae Klong). The new development will create double tracks at ground level and double elevated tracks, four in all. It will be necessary to either dig tunnels or build a bridge over the Chao Phraya, the Thachin, and the Mae Klong river to connect with the Southern Line at Pak Tho and integrate two sections of Mae Klong line into a single system. from Thai Post Daily (http://www.thaipost.net), November 23, 1999 Note: Mae Klong line was opened for public service in 1905 by two private firms - one running Klongsan to Mahachai and the other running Ban Laem to Mae Klong. The government nationalized both section in 1945. In the 1960s, the Klongsan-Wongwian Yai line was dismantled. You can get the details on the SRT railway from "The Railways of Thailand" written by Ramaer, R. (White Lotus Press, Bangkok, 1994, ISBN 974-8495-01-5, 190 pp., illus., 210 x 295 mm US$50).

No Skytrain Extensions Anytime Soon? In a local journal, BTS stated that for the first 3 years (2000-2002), there would be no Skytrain extensions. Therefore, the construction of the extensions would be postponed to 2003 and the construction would be finished in 2005-6. from Transport & Travel Journal Weekly, issue October 18-October 24, 1999

Skytrain Extension Lines Despite the BTS statement above, Parachachart Business reports that the NESDB (alias Development Board http://www.nesdb.go.th) is going to make a decision regarding the three extension lines of the BTS with a budget of 35 billion baht (US$ 875 million) in December 1999 and that the Samrong and Taksin extensions (8.9 and 2.2 km respectively) will be approved by NESDB. However, the 8.5-km Rama III-Sathupradid extension may not be approved by NESDB due to unfeasibility. The extensions have to start construction in the first quarter of 2000 and be ready for public service on December 5, 2002 to celebrate the 75th birthday of HM The King. The extension projects should have the same technology as the first phase of the BTS to reduce cost and they should follow the Joint Ventures between Public and Private Sectors Act of 1992. The NESDB suggests that the best way to deal with the current situation is that public sector should define terms of investment, financial resources, and services. The BTS extension projects should start not later the First Quarter of 2000 (April 2000) so the extensions will be open for public services on December 5, 2002 - to celebrate 75th birthday of our His Majesty. from Parachachart Business (http://www.matichon.co.th), November 15-17, 1999

Skytrain Feeder Systems There will be 13 air-con bus lines for the BTS feeder system with fares of 8-18 baht (the same as the BMTA EURO 2 aircon buses). There will be 175 BTS buses in service, with the same decoration as the BTS Skytrains. The buses will run from 05:00 to midnight. The BTS bus routes are: 1) Thammasart University (Rungsit Campus) - Mo Chit Station - going along Vibhavadee highway and turning right to Mo Chit station - identical to BMTA bus No. 29 but shorter 2) Pakkret Pier - Mo Chit Station - going along Vibhavadee Highway and turning right to Mo Chit - identical to BMTA bus No. 52 but shorter 3) Bang Bua Thong - Mo Chit Station - going along Rattanathibet Road, Ngam Wongwan Road, to Tiwanon intersection and turn right to Pracharat Sai 2 - passing Tao Poon area - Bang Sue Junction - Kamphaengphet Road to Moh Chit station 4) Minburi - Sukhaphiban 2 Rd.-Lad Phrao Rd.-Mo Chit station - identical to BMTA bus No. 27 but with a shorter route 5) Minburi - Mo Chit Station - identical to BMTA bus No. 26 but with a shorter route 6) Bang Plee - On Nuj station - going from Bang Plee Community Housing along with Bangna-Bangpakong Highway to Bangna and turning right to Sukhumvit Road - passing Udomsuk Lane (Sukhumvit 103), Bang Jak, and ending at On Nuj station 7) Prapadaeng Pier - On Nuj Station - going from Prapadaeng Pier (eastern bank) along with Poochao Samingphrai Road and turning left to Sukhumvit Road. 8) Paknam - On Nuj station - going along BMTA bus No. 25 line along Sukhumvit Road. Passing to Samrong, Bang Na, Bang Jak and Ending up at On Nuj Station 9) Banthat Thong (should be Prathat Thong) - Rama IV Road - New Road - Nationa Stadium Station - From Banthat Thong Rd. to Rama VI (Rong Muang Area), Hua Lamphong, New Road, Sanaamchai Rd., Chakkrawat Temple -Yaowarat (BKK Chinatown) - Hua Lamphong and end up at National Stadium Station 10) Phutthamonthon (Buddha Mandala) - Ratchathewee - from Salaya (Mahidol University) going along the Pinklao-Nakhonchaisri Highway to Pinklao Bridge and then going along the Ratchadamnoen Ave., Yommaraj area and Phetburi Road 11) Sathupradid - Taksin Bridge - going along from Sathupradid Pier to Thanon Tok Intersection and turning right to the New Road to Taksin Bridge 12) Nong Khaem to Surasak Station - from Nong Khaem (TV 3) along with Phetkasem Highway to Wongwian Yai and turn right to Taksin Road and cross Taksin Bridge to Surasak Station 13) Phrapadaeng-Surasak Station - going along Nakhon Khenkhan Rd. to Suksawat Rd. and from Suksawat Rd. to Mahaisawan Interesection, Taksin Road, Taksin Bridge and ending up at Surasak Station. From the Thaipost Daily (http://www.thaipost.net), November 10, 1999.

Skytrain Elevators and Escalators Several entities have committed themselves to retrofitting the BTS stations with elevators and escalators: BTSC has contracted with the Thissen Krupp AG to install 33 elevators at all the stations. The first two elevators will be installed at Siam Station from the ground level to the platform level and the other 31 will be installed in 19 stations station from the platform to the plaza level. Italian Thai Development PCL (http://www.italian-thai.co.th) will install the first 14 Otis escalators at Siam station. Later on, BTS will make a contract with Thissen Krupp AG to install the next 33 escalators in all stations from the plaza level to the platform level. In the second phase, the Thissen Krupp AG will install 34 escalators from ground level to the plaza level. They will do the best they can to install escalators in every station. BTS said they will pay 1 billion baht (US$ 25 million) from their own pockets for escalator installation. BMA (http://www.bma.go.th) and public sector will install elevators in 11 stations such as Asok, On Nuj, Morchit, Chong Nonsee, Siam Square, and so on with a budget of 140 million baht (US$ 3.5 million). BMA is going to install elevators and escalators at Siam Square, Mo Chit, On Nuj, Victory Monument, and Chong Nonsee. from Parachachart Business (http://www.matichon.co.th), November 15-17, 1999

MegaProjects Awaiting Approval The Cabinet has withdrawn all 75 megaprojects, such as MRTA blue line [125.565 billion baht or about US$3.14 Billion], Nong Ngoo Hao Airport [120 billion baht or US$ 3 billion], MRTA extensions [50.055 billion or US$1.26 Billion], and the BTS extensions [32,625 million baht or US$ 816 million] from the agenda at the November 15, 1999 cabinet meeting. The Cabinet said all the approved megaprojects must pass austerity measures, follow new constitutional rules, follow WTO rules to increase the economic potential, undergo feasibility studies and engineering design reports, environmental impact reports, and public hearings.

Odds and Ends from Skytrain FAQ in Thai There is a lot of Skytrain info that is not in English on the BTS site. The best info is in the FAQ under "Mr. Speedy answers your questions" (Mr. Speedy is my translation for "Nuduan", their mascot). You will see that traveling the length of the Silom line will "not exceed 13 minutes" and for the whole Sukhumvit line, it will "not exceed 30 minutes." Lots of other stats there, too. And best of all is length of time between trains: as little as 2.18 minutes for the Sukhumvit line during rush hours. The FAQ that follows has some interesting questions and some stupid ones. Sample stupid question: "Are the drivers Thais or farangs (foreigners)?" ...and "Are there going to be toilets on the Skytrain?" whereupon Mr. Speedy explains that toilets would be smelly (Thais putting their noses first again!), and there would be a problem disposing of wastewater since you are above the streets. The more obvious conclusion is that toilets are not needed because there is only a few minutes between stops. Mr. Speedy also explains it is not permitted to eat or drink on the Skytrain.

A Comparison Don Entz has an interesting comment on the Skytrain fare system. If Malaysian service is anything to go by My wife and I have just spent several days running around Kuala Lumpur. In doing so we used its excellent version of Bangkok's Skytrain, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. It consists of two lines, the Putra LRT and the Star LRT, intersecting at two locations. The LRT system made it a breeze for us to get around, and it appears to be as extensive as Bangkok's will be, perhaps even more so. The facilities for both lines are as modern as anything we've seen in Hong Kong or Singapore, and yet the fares are amazingly cheap. The Putra LRT charges the equivalent of 5-15 baht per trip and the Star LRT 7-25 baht, depending on the distance travelled. I do not know the daily ridership for the Star line, but the Putra is bragging about having 81,000 riders each day (no, there are no zeros missing in that figure). Furthermore, we discovered while there that originally attracting riders to the Putra line proved difficult because of the initial high cost; fares were therefore reduced 66% this past July, permanently, and ridership then skyrocketed. Now, Bangkok claims it has to charge how much per trip with how many hundreds of thousands of riders per day in order to break even within a reasonable time period? Don Entz, Nonthaburi, Bangkok Post Postbag, November 9, 1999

A Change in Plans After an apparent scrapping of the "Soft Opening"for November 19, 1999, the Skytrain opened for business for free on November 6, 1999 with about 100,000 communters trying the train. The "trial run" will continue on November 7, 1999 when an estimated 200,000 are expected to board. The trail runs will continue off and on until December 2, 1999. This is it! Final fares for the Skytrain is based on the number of stations traveled. Fares may be raised to the ceiling indicated after 18 months under "special circumstances." The Skytrain will open on December 5, 1999. Skytrain Fare Table
Stations Traveled 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12-17
Fare (baht) 10 15 20 20 25 25 30 30 35 35 40 40
Fare Ceiling (baht) 15 20 20 25 25 30 30 35 35 45 45 45
Tentative Soft Opening Probably Scrapped Since the fare negotiations went on so long apparently there will be no soft opening of the Skytrain line. Initially, it was to be on November 19, 1999 for the Silom line only (Silom to Saphan Taksin). It's a Go! .... After several rounds of negotiations, agreement was reached last week on a distance-based rate of between 10 and 40 baht. With the lower rate, the train should attract more passengers. The number of trips is expected to rise to 650,000 per day. Under the new rate, the BTSC would be able to repay loans in 13 years. The train operator is entitled to adjust the fare structure within 18 months, with reasonable cause. The fare, however, must not exceed 45 baht. Karoon Chandrangsu, the BTSC chief operations officer, said travelling one station will cost 10 baht, two stations 15 baht, three or four stations 20 baht, five or six stations 25 baht, seven or eight stations 30 baht and nine or 10 stations 35 baht. Passengers who travel 11 stations or more will pay a flat rate of 40 baht. The skytrain is expected to begin operations in December to celebrate His Majesty the King's 72nd birthday. It is planned 35 trains will run from 6 a.m. to midnight every day. Excerpted from Making Tracks, Bangkok Post, November 1, 1999 When station-to-station fares are finalized, they will be posted on the Skytrain Fare Page on the Official BTS site. Skytrain ushers in an era of advanced automatic control Article about the control system for the Skytrain on The Nation website. Skytrain launch date threatened People may have to wait longer to ride Bangkok's elevated train as the city administration's tussle with concessionaire Bangkok Transit System Co (BTSC) over fare rates continues. BTSC president Karun Chantharangsu said if the agreement could not be reached before Nov 5, the skytrain may not be operating on Dec 5 as scheduled. .... ''Bangkokians had already lost their chance to use the Silom route service because the Bangkok Council had asked the Office of Attorney General to make a decision on the fare,'' Karun said. The Silom section of the skytrain was scheduled to open on Nov 19. .... ''Last week, the BMA told a press conference about its agreement with us over the Bt10 to Bt40 rates. But this week, they said they would not approve the rates. I don't know what game the BMA is playing,'' Karun said. He said the company had already reported to its creditors that it would be charging the Bt10 to Bt40 rates. He said the uncertainty about the rates would affect Thailand's investment atmosphere. .... Palang Thai Bangkok councillor Wilai Somphan said yesterday that several Bangkok councillors felt uneasy about the tussle over the fare rates. Somphan said the BMA should have settled the rates a lot earlier. She said the councillors feared that they would be blamed for the delay in the launch of the services. Excerpted from Skytrain launch date threatened by Chularat Saengpassa and Sasasithorn Ongdee, The Nation, Oct 28, 1999 Preliminary Skytrain Fares Announced The Skytrain fares will be 10-40 baht, and BTS is working on the exact fare schedule. Info courtesy of Monakan K. Thada, BTS Marketing Division BTS to take over the Hopewell Project? Mr. Khiree Kanchanaphak and Thanayong PCL are lobbying the Minister of Transportation and Communications to take over the Hopewell Project with the assistance from Chinese government. Mr. Kanchanaphak may have to wait until early November to see whether Minister of Transportation and Communication will approve Thanayong plan. BTS recognizes that it needs to have connections with the MRTA and the Hopewell Projects.

BTS bus routes BTS is asking Department of Land Transporation to open bus routes to feed BTS lines - mostly around Sukhumvit, Phaholyothin and Sathon area. However, the DLT will make a preliminary approvals to only 13-14 lines from the proposed 16 lines since most line are one the same route as the BMTA bus routes.

BTS Extensions Update The three BTS extensions: Chong Nonsee, Bang Na, and Wongwian Yai are under discussion by the BMA, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, OCLTM and NESDB. By October 28 the proposals will be send to the Cabinate for final approval in November. From Prachachat Thurakit Business Newspaper October 18-20, 1999 and Dailynews. Read the Webmaster's Article on the Skytrain in English & German This site's webmaster wrote an article about the Bangkok Skytrain for the German webzines futureframe and MorganWelt for a "Cities of the Future" issue. Read it here. futureframe's main page is here. The German version of the article is here. Official BTS Skytrain Site Launch The Official BTS Skytrain site is up! The Thai-version is here and the English version is here. Fares likely to be 10-40 baht - Developer looking to negotiate further Executives of the skytrain developer have different opinions regarding the city's proposed fare rate of 10-40 baht according to distance. .... Mr Karoon (Karoon Chandrangsu, chief operations officer of the Bangkok Mass Transit System Corp) said BTSC has estimated conducting 580,000 trips per day-calculated on per passenger usage-earning it 18 million baht if the fare rate were fixed at between 15-60 baht as the developer has proposed. However, if the fare is reduced to 10-40 baht, it might attract more passengers, allowing the developer to notch 650,000 trips daily. Chief executive officer Kiri Kanchanapas said BTSC needed to discuss this matter with the city officials. "If the rate must start at 10 baht, we will put emphasis on marketing methods to attract more people to use the system ," Mr Kiri said. He said the company would earn 18-20 million baht a day and break even within 13 years if the fare rate is 15-60 baht, while it would take up to 16 years if the fare is 10-40 baht. Although BTSC had proposed a maximum rate of 60 baht, it did not mean to collect fares up to that rate, said Mr Kiri, adding the city administration and the developer must be able to agree on the fare rate before Nov 7, a month before the system's operation, as required by the contract. .... BTSC has spent about 100 million baht on public relations. Information booths will be installed at major shopping centres and banks from Oct-Jan. From the Bangkok Post, Oct. 6, 1999 Great Website with Technical Info on Trains Railway Technology Web Pages - This is the website of Piers Connor, who did design work on the Skytrain. Want to know how a commuter train service is planned? How air-brakes on trains work? Need links to other railway technical sites? You'll find it all here. For all my other Skytrain links, go to the Skytrain Links Page. September 22, 1999 Skytrain Extension Route Proposals Nong Ngoohao Extension : 18.4 km - 5 stations (assuming route code as X until the official letter is decided upon) X1 Central City Bang Na - Central Department Store Branch X2 Srinakharin - Sri Nakharin Intersection X3 Ramkhamhaeng 2 - Bang Na Campus (now in Prawet District) X4 Bang Pleee - the Intersection between Bang Na Trat highway and Kanchanaphisek Outer Ring Road X5 Nong Ngoo Hao - Southern Terminal Sukhumvit Extension : 8.9 km - 6 stations Note: the extension stations are separated by about 2 kilometers while the stations in inner Bangkok are separated by about 1 kilometer E10 Samphob Naruemit (Sukhumvit 62) E11 Punnawithee (Sukhumvit 101) E12 Bang Na E13 Northern Samrong - in Samrong market E14 Poochao Samingphrai - at the interesection of Poochao Samingphrai Road - there is an old and neglected fort here E15 Thang Rotfai Sai Paknam (Samrong) Silom Extension : 2.2 km - 2 stations S7 Jaroen Nakhon Intersection - the Thonburi Side of Taksin Bridge S8 Taksin Intersection - at Taksin Road - actually 400 meters before Taksin intersection Chong Nonsee Extension : 8.5 km - 9 stations Passing through the Narathwat Ratchanakharin Avenue to Rama III Road (Ratchadaphisek Inner Ring Road) and turning right along Rama III Road until it ends at Sathupradit intersection. Handicapped Access BTS can build only elevators--at Chong Nonsee and Siam Stations--if they want to finish by the opening date of December 5, 1999. It may be necessary to to get another loan to make the construction of elevators in every station possible. From Thai Post Daily, September 21, 1999 Click here for the complete route list and map. Official BTS Skytrain Website Opening Date I have been informed that the Official BTS Skytrain website should be up and running on October 15, 1999. September 17, 1999 BTS Email Address BTS, the corporation that will run the Skytrain, can now be reached at [email protected]. September 16, 1999 Subcommittee Approves BTS Extension The subcommittee of mass transit approved the extension of BTS from Soi Onnuj to Samrong (Eastern Extension) and Taksin Bridge to Taksin Intersection (Southern Extension). Now we have to wait for cabinet approval and the contract signing to start construction. Skytrain Fare Dispute Continues "The Bangkok governor remained optimistic yesterday the Skytrain will start operating on Dec 5 as scheduled despite the developer's threat to postpone the service if it is forced to charge a flat rate of 15 baht. ... The city administration has asked the attorney-general to rule whether BTSC can charge a progressive rate of between 15-60 baht despite a contractual agreement that the fare must be fixed at 15 baht for the whole system. The contract prohibits any fare adjustment within the first 18 months of the concession. The developer started counting from the first day of construction, but the city council argued the period should start on the first day of service. Mr Anat said on Tuesday the 15-baht rate was too small to cover the system's daily operation cost of 18 million baht, and the developer would have to borrow from overseas to keep the system going. Mr Anat said initially the fare should range between 15-45 baht. But he added the developer had no plan to charge as high as 45 baht because it was well aware of public sentiment." From Skytrain will run on time, says Bhichit, Developer's threat brushed aside, Bangkok Post, Sep. 10, 1999 by Poona Antaseeda Mor Chit Project - Mass-Transit Hub "The Mor Chit project is designed as a central terminal linking the mass transit system with other transport modes, as called for in the eighth National Economic and Social Development Plan. Passengers will be able to access the skytrain, subway, provincial bus terminal, Bangkok public buses, tollway, expressway and airport check-in facilities. As initially planned, the construction will be completed in four years after the Treasury Department hands over 63 rai of land at Mor Chit. The project will have two large buildings occupying 900,000 square metres. Of the total space, 100,000 sq m (11%) will be allocated to the Transport Company Ltd as compensation, 230,000 sq m (26%) for Park and Ride space, 280,000 sq m (31%) for public utilities, 280,000 sq m (31%) for commercial space and 10,000 sq m (1%) for office space for government and private firms. In the commercial space there will be tourist information centre, a city air terminal, a passport and visa centre, a labour centre, an education centre, an import and export centre, a Thai handicraft centre and a museum. It is estimated that about 400,000 passengers will use the terminal and 1.6 million commuters will travel via the connecting transport routes. ... BMTM Keating (USA) is the project's conceptual designer while RTKL International of the United States is the interior designer. Bechtel International Inc (USA) handles project management, Pacific Consultants International (Japan) handles traffic studies. Consultant of Technology (Thailand) is the environmental consultant." From Mor Chit operator confident of progress, B17bn construction job to start next year, Supoj Wanchareon and Krissana Parnsoonthorn, Bangkok Post, Sep. 10, 1999 Advertising on the Skytrain from the Bangkok Post, August 4, 1999

Advertising and commercial space on BTS platforms and trains will be managed by VGI Global Media Company.

Rent for commercial space will range between 5,000 and 6,000 baht per square meter per month.

Among customers that have reached informal three-year rental deals to date are 7-Eleven, Black Canyon, Apex Health Care, Shake & Cool beverage shops, Dollie sandwiches, Dunkin Donuts, Au Bon Pain, C Image photo shop, Oriental Princess, Spices cosmetics, Waratah gift shops, S&P bakery, Aurora goldsmiths, and the Loxley and Telewiz mobile-phone shops.

The four clients operating shops at all 23 stations will be 7-Eleven, Black Canyon, Apex Health Care and Loxley.

Advertising space on vertical and horizontal train boards will cost 10,000 to 30,000 baht per board per month.
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