Suvarnabhumi rail link lacks passengers

21 Mar 2011

The direct rail link from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city centre is currently operating with well below its projected passenger numbers. The non-stop service operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to Makkasan Station has round 700 passengers daily, one third of the 2,200 targeted when services began last year.

Critics of the Express Line link say that the one-way ticket price of 150 Baht is much too expensive and that the terminus at Makkasan Station is in an inconvenient location on Phetchaburi Road, with no covered pedestrian walkways from it to the nearby underground train station.

In comparison the slower City Line service from Suvarnabhumi to Phaya Thai Station, via Makkasan, is averaging between 36,000 and 40,000 users every day. This service stops at seven stations en route, but offers fare prices starting at 15 Baht with a maximum of 45 Baht.

At Phaya Thai, arriving passengers also have a direct covered route up to the station’s BTS Skytrain platforms.

In an effort to increase usage of the Express Line trains, SRT in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has issued the first batch of a total 100,000 vouchers that will allow passengers to travel for 50 Baht. TAT officials gave out the vouchers at the recent travel fair in Berlin as part of its Bangkok Stopover campaign.  

The remainder of the discount vouchers will be given out to customers at selected hotels and also to some airline passengers in April. TAT estimated that around 20,000 travellers will take advantage of the offer.

SRT has also said it will offer discounts, rates still to be finalised, to Smart Pass holders when they buy refills for travel on the airport train services. 

Tags: Suvarnabhumi link passengers

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