BTS fares to increase in October by 1-2 baht, yet BTS improvements still lacking
Bangkok’s BTS sky train fares are to increase on October 1st by 1-2 baht per trip, from the current 15-42 baht to 16-44 baht per trip depending on where you are traveling to, and social media is awash in complaints.
And while a couple of baht per trip may not sound like a lot, especially to the average expat, this Bangkok sky train fare increase means the average person using the BTS to get to work and back and a couple of other trips here and there will end up paying an extra 90 baht per month or 1,040 baht more per year.
Considering the minimum daily Thai salary is only 300 baht, that means a worker on minimum wage who uses the BTS daily is going to have to pay quite a big chunk more of their monthly salary to do the same as they always did.
But, hey, that obviously doesn’t bother Khun Keeree Kanjanapas, founder and chairman of the BTS Group.
According to Forbes Asia, he is worth over US$1.45 billion. Most of that money made on the BTS, and some of which the BTS could be spending to make much needed improvements. With record fares reported in the last quarter of last year, his net worth is likely to continue to increase while the people who use the BTS get just that little bit poorer every month
But, it’s the same all over Thailand isn’t it? The mega-rich making more and more money off the working class and poor, while offering the same or worse services than they ever did.
Look at the BTS and it’s continually on-going problems that never seem to get improved.
As people are reporting on social media, elevators are still often not working at stations throughout the BTS network, so if you are disabled you’re out of luck.
Ticket machines have never been able to take anything but coins, so if you don’t have the right coins you get to stand in massive lines just to get change (they don’t even dispense tickets at the counter after you’ve stood there for 10 minutes. You get to go back to the original machine you were at before you needed change and stand in another line — yes, Thai efficiency as its best).
And remember the Mangmoom card, the planned storage value card that was supposed to hook up the BTS, the MRT, and the BRT? Yeah, that’s not happening anytime soon, even though we keep getting promised it is.
Meanwhile, everyone in Bangkok who uses the BTS will now have to pay even more money for the same shabby service starting on October 1st.
Or you could do what I do. Use motorbikes more than the BTS nowadays.
They are more fun, sometimes even faster than the BTS depending on where you are going, and at least I’m handing my money to the guy who actually did the job, and not the one sitting in a marble tower somewhere surveying his domain and deciding how much more money he can leach from the people who can afford it the least.