Bangkok metro presses stop on escalators

24 Mar 2013

The operators of Bangkok’s underground rail system have announced they will stop escalators during daytime hours from 1 April. Mass Rapid Transit Authority chairperson Rachanee Tripipatkul said the action was being taken in response to the national government’s request to conserve power. 

Ms Tripipatkul said that around 40 per cent of the 200 escalators at Metro stations in the capital would be taken out of service between the hours of 09:30 and 16:30 every day. The authority says the reduction in escalator operating hours is expected to help cut the 1-million-Baht a day electricity bill the authority pays.

The reduced escalator services are scheduled to continue until 30 June. Bangkok Metro Company operates trains on the Thai capital’s underground network. Company president Chaiwat Utaiwan says that income at present averages 6 million Baht a day.

Mr Chaiwat continued by saying that since the Metro system went into public service in 2004 it has gone from strength-to-strength and now handles 260,000 passengers every day. He finished off with the claim that judging by current trends the number of passengers will likely increase another 10 per cent over the course of the coming 12 months.

With the opening of the elevated Skytrain network in 1999 and the Metro five years later, Bangkok’s legendary traffic jams eased a little as commuters realised they had other options besides driving or taking ramshackle and overcrowded buses. The 1Stop Bangkok guide to getting around lists the various different transportation options for visitors.  

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