Why is Fare Taking at Bangkok’s BTS Sky Train So Inefficient?

I took the BTS skytrain in Bangkok, Thailand today and, as always, was annoyed about how inefficient fare taking at the sky train was. Unlike at Bangkok’s MRT underground train station, where you can go up to the booth, hand over your money, tell the attendant where you are going and get a travel token in return, Bangkok’s sky train system doesn’t allow this.

Instead, when you go to the booth they will only give you change (coins) for notes, which then have to to be used in the BTS ticket machines.

So, unlike the MRT, where everything can be taken care of in one line, on the sky train it takes standing in two lines just to get a ticket. One line just to get change, and then another line at the ticket machine to actually be able to buy your ticket. Highly inefficient and highly annoying.

In fact, so annoying did I find fare taking at the BTS sky train in Bangkok today, especially with the enormous Saturday crowds, the next time I go downtown I’m taking the underground train instead.

Less people, the trains are faster and the ability to buy a ticket by standing at just one window makes it a much more efficient way to travel.