Bangkok BRT an integrated
public transport system

By Eric Lim

The Bangkok BRT or Bus Rapid Transit is a special bus service linking the mass rapid transit systems in Bangkok to provide an integrated public transport service for the city and her suburbs. 

On 15 May 2010 the first Bus Rapid Transit line commenced service linking Sathorn to Ratchapruek across the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi. 


Latest entry to the streets of Bangkok

This is the first of 14 Bus Rapid Transit lines ultimately serving the greater part of the city in the next decade. In the first phase, there will be five BRT lines. These are: 

  • Sathorn - Ratchaphruek (in service) for hotels along this line

  • Mor Chit – Soon Ratchakarn – Nonthaburi (planned)

  • Sathon – Suksawat (planned)

  • Don Mueang – Minburi – Suvarnabhumi (planned)

  • Minburi – Sri Nakharin – Sam Rong (planned)


Connecting to mass rapid transit and other transport 

The existing and planned Bangkok BRT lines will link to existing skytrain and subway lines and planned mass rapid transport lines. One BRT line will also connect to the Suvarnabhumi Airport rail link. 

Currently the Sathorn – Ratchaphruek line links to the Silom line of the skytrain at S3 Chong Nonsi and S10 Talat Phlu


Features of the Bangkok BRT 

These custom-built air-conditioned buses run on dedicated bus lanes on the outer lanes of the road. 


Special bus lanes for BRT buses only

The buses stop at specially designed platforms. 


BRT bus platforms

These platforms can be accessed by stairways or escalators on both sides of the road. 


Way up to the BRT bus station

There are ticketing offices up in the overhead bridges for purchase of tickets before boarding the buses. 


Presale of tickets before boarding

System maps are on display in the overhead bridges showing the bus route and the various stations. 


System route map

These overhead bridges also serve as pedestrian bridges. 


View of the BRT station

On board each bus, a TV display behind the driver displays the station where the bus is at with announcements for each station in Thai and English. The TV displays are no longer available.


Display screen in front

The BRT services run from 0600 hours – midnight. 

Frequency of BRT services 

At peak hours from Mondays – Fridays from 0630 – 0930 hours and 1600 – 2000 hours, buses will arrive at 5 minute intervals 

At off peak hours and at the weekends at 10 minute intervals 


Bangkok BRT Sathorn - Ratchaphruek 

This is the first line to come into service. It covers 15.9 km and travels along Narathiwat/Rajanakharin Road, Rama III Road which loops along the sharp bend of the Chao Phraya to end at the junction of Ratchadaphisek and Ratchapruek Roads near The Mall Tha Phra on the other bank of the Chao Phraya River. 


Boarding the bus

Please see Bangkok BRT Sathon – Ratchaphruek map 

The route has 12 stations: 

Sathorn 

Arkan Songkhro 

Technic Krungthep (previously called Yen Akart) 

Chan Road 

Nara-Ram 3 

Wat Dan 

Wat Pariwat 

Wat Dok Mai 

Rama 9 Bridge 

Charoen Rat 

Rama III Bridge 

Ratchaphruek
 


Fares 

  • During the promotion period for the first months, 15 May – 31 August 2010, bus rides are free.

  • From 1 September 2010 – 1 January 2011, bus rides are 10 baht throughout the route.

  • From 2 January 2011, commuters will be charged from 12 – 20 baht depending on the distance travel. It’s approximately 2 baht for every 2 – 3 stations.


This Bangkok BRT service links to the S3 Chong Nonsi skytrain station on the Silom line. It also links to the S10 Talat Phlu skytrain station that’s part of the Silom line extension in Thonburi which opened in 2012. 

This effectively gives commuters connecting rides to the skytrain and subsequently the subway. 


Sathorn BRT terminal station leading to the Chong Nonsi skytrain station

Ticketing machines 

With effect from 2 January 2011, new ticketing machines have been installed at all the BRT stations along the Sathorn-Ratchapruek route. 


Touch screen ticketing terminal

These touch screen terminals are easy to use. Just touch the screen and the route map will appear. Touch your destination station on the map, insert the amount indicated and get your ticket. 


Just touch the screen and follow the instructions

The system accepts 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht coins or 20, 50 and 100 baht notes. 





The Bangkok BRT fare card

These tickets are slotted into the entry gates like the tickets for the Bangkok skytrain. 

Top of page 


Hotels along the BRT Sathorn - Ratchaphruek 

Here are the hotels along this BRT line grouped according to the nearest BRT station. 

Sathorn 

Yellow Ribbon Executive Mansion 

Arkan Songkhro 

Anantara Sathorn Hotel 

Technic Krung Thep 

Area Residence Living Naraa Apartment 

Chan Road 

Chatrium Residence Double Two Sathorn 

Forum Park Hotel Nara Suites Residence Sathorn Place 

Wat Dan 

Riverfront Residence 

Charoen Rat 

Montien Riverside Hotel 

Ratchaphruek 

Jolly Suites Spa Hotel Season Place 

Top of page 

Map of the BRT Sathorn – Ratchaphruek line 

Here’s a map showing the Bangkok BRT Sathorn – Ratchaphruek route and the stations along the line as well as the connecting skytrain stations. 



View BRT Sathon - Ratchaphruek in a larger map

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Benefits of the Bangkok BRT 

The Bangkok BRT provides safe, comfortable and convenient bus travel in Bangkok. Although the majority of commuters are local residents, visitors to Bangkok will find this service useful too as it allows them to see a side of Bangkok that’s rarely seen by tourists. 


On board the BRT on a Saturday morning

More importantly the Bus Rapid Transit system when fully implemented connects to existing and planned mass rapid transit systems, other auxiliary transport like buses, mini-buses, taxis and river boats. This will give the city and her suburbs an integrated transport network. 


Existing lines and their extensions

For details of the Bangkok skytrain and Bangkok subway and for an overview of the mass rapid transit system, please see Bangkok skytrain and subway. 







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