Mini Mass Transit

Last night on Newsline, Khun Natakorn gave a brief spiel about the current state of the mass transit network, namely the skytrain and undergournd networks. The main thrust of the segment was to point the finger at the Ministry of Transport and let everyone know that the only reason development on the extensions isn’t happening (and hasn’t been up to this point) is because of them.

I’m fascinated by the saga that is the skytrain and underground network and have found a lot of useful information on it at With the recent cancellation of the purple and orange underground lines, things have taken a turn for the worse though.

I had believed up to this point that the skytrain extensions were being stonewalled because the government had chosen to extend the underground instead, but if they’ve now cancelled the extensions to that I have absolutely no idea what they’re thinking. Bangkokians are up in arms about the sudden change in the plans for the underground and I don’t blame anyone for feeling that way since the extensions were one of the political promises that won the Prime Ministership for Thaksin.

My confusion with both of these networks is, are they on or off? I’ve seen conflicting reports on the news and in the papers for them and says that they are off, with buses to replace the planned lines for the underground (I’d thought the idea was to reduce traffic, not increase it – but oh well!).

Does anyone know what is really happening with either of these?

4 Comments so far

  1. enda (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 4:57 pm is a great site about bangkok, shame that I can’t find the feeds for the site :(

  2. Baba (unregistered) on September 7th, 2005 @ 10:28 pm

    I thought that one of the main reasons for not extending the underground was because they’re not managing to get enough people travelling on it even after they reduced the prices quite significantly? Surely the whole thing needs to prove to be viable before you go ahead and extend?

  3. aurix (unregistered) on September 8th, 2005 @ 11:27 am

    it’s all very confusing, the news reports about the extensions…

    i still have some hope though… (wishful thinking, one might say). cos Bangkok really needs them. but, knowing the political culture that surrounds the whole project, my hope is gradually fading by day.

    if i’m not mistaken, the two lines were scrapped because they won’t make up the costs even after like 30 years of operation or something–which, if that’s really how it is, then maybe it makes sense to scrap the lines. but at the same time, this is a publicly-funded project for the public, i don’t think business-oriented cost-benefit analysis (surprise, surprise for this administration) applies.

    and replacing them with buses is a really bad idea, I agree.

  4. Ben Harris (unregistered) on September 8th, 2005 @ 2:33 pm

    There is a report at here that says they reached their target in 2001, but I don’t know how they’ve gone since then.

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