Going Underground

I finally bit the bullet and caught the underground last Saturday. My first impression was ‘where are the other passengers?’ and ‘Where is anything else?’ because it is pretty darned empty down there.

Lets start with the ticketing system. They have a touch screen ticket ticket/coin vending machine that can handle coins AND notes! Shock, horror! Anyway, the Thai person in front of me couldn’t figure the machine out so I had to stand there for a minute or so waiting until they walked away frustrated. Luckily, a fellow passenger had already informed me of what station I was going to, so I assume I that I appeared to be such a professional when operating the high-tech machinery to get my little plastic coin (ie ticket). They also have a smart-card ticketing system which the BTS people could also learn about, but I digress.

My first comment after reaching the platform was “A claustrophobic person would go nuts down here”, because the tracks are closed off by long glass barriers that only open when there is a train on the other side.

The trains themselves, while of nearly identical design to the BTS trains, are a little wider but seemed to hold much fewer passengers than their above-ground counter-parts.

On my second trip, which was going back the way I’d come, I noticed that there was a certain large symbol painted in places around the station and at another station, they had a different symbol. Apprently, each station has its own symbol, the meaning and point of which escapes me.

All in all though, I must say that my trip was seamless and quite nice. Since the accident that occured a few months back, people have been talking about whether or not the underground is safe. It didn’t crash while I was on it, thankfully, so it must be ok :)

3 Comments so far

  1. him (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2005 @ 9:04 pm

    It took me months to notice that each station also has it’s own colour scheme – not drastic, but overall. There’s a stripe of colour at neck height, and also above head height. I don’t know about all stations, but the majority are different.

  2. Carl Parkes (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2005 @ 2:00 am

    The tactic used by most countries in the west, has been to largely ignore the problems of urban traffic and just let get it really bad, but send money to public transport such as buses and metrorails. There is almost no way for Bangkok to pave enough highways and roads to get rid of the mess, so those of you who live in Bangkok must learn about public movement, which should be owned and operatd, and subsidized by the central government in Bangkok.

    It’s the only solution. Cars don’t work in huge urban environments. Public transport will work. But it must be run and owned by the civil government That means BMA. They are in charge.

  3. Baba (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2005 @ 1:35 pm

    Claustrophobic? I should try the London Underground! The MRT is palacial in comparison!

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