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BTS prepares to launch Yellow Line service

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From The Nation

BTS Group Holdings (BTS) is proceeding with preparations to commence service for the Yellow Line electric train.

The Transport Ministry disclosed on May 24 the progress on the Yellow Line electric train project (Ladprao-Samrong section). Currently, the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) is inspecting various system details to ensure compliance with international safety standards. According to the contract, the inspection of these details is expected to take approximately 21 days, with completion anticipated by early June of this year.

The company responsible for operating the Yellow Line electric train is Eastern Bangkok Monorail Co., Ltd. (EBM). They are recruiting personnels to fill the various job positions related to the Yellow Line electric train operations. Service operations could start by June 3 of this year, after safety inspection by the MRTA is completed.

Initially, the Yellow Line service will be free to the public, as by law, the fare collection requires approval from the Cabinet with 30-day advance notice for the public.

According to news reports, the preliminary fare rates were calculated based on the concession agreement in 2016, with initial fares set at 14 baht and a maximum fare of 42 baht. However, before the service begins, fare rates must be adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), using the CPI of the three months prior to the start of service. Therefore, if the actual service can be launched on June 3 of this year, the fare rates will start at 15 baht and reach a maximum of 45 baht, adjusted based on the CPI of March of this year.

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This is confusing on two levels.

I'm probably out of date, but I've always thought that BTS refers to the the original "skytrain", whereas "MRT" refers to the subway system. But here I see BTS Group Holdings, MRTA and the Yellow Line (which I believe is an MRT line) all in the same press release. Does that mean that BTS has taken over the MRT? If so, why don't they have a seamless ticketing system?

On a more minor note, if the Yellow line is part of the MRT system (as I think it is) why the need for cabinet approval to collect fares? And if people can hop from one colour line to another, how exactly will the "free" rides work?

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I think but am not sure at all:

MRT lines and BTS lines have different ticket systems.

MRT lines are owned by MRTA  (Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand) and mostly operated by BEM (Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited). New MRT Yellow Line will be operated by EBM (Eastern Bangkok Monorail Company Limited).

BTS lines are owned by BMA (Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) and operated by BTSC (Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited)

EBM and BTSC are subsidiaries of public company BTS Group, while BEM is state owned.

MRT Yellow Line => EBM => BTS Group, there we are.

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I did the ride yesterday, full operational length from Samrong BTS  to Hua MAK Airport line. Transfer at Samrong is easy via covered walkway and well posted. Ride is now free and is facilitated by distributing free tickets. Ride takes 31 minutes and frequency is every 10 minutes. 

I managed to secure position at front window for better experience. Nice views of Bangkok skyline, at few points MahaNakhon seems to be dwarfed by other buildings. 

Line is totally elevated so views are guaranteed. 

At Hua MAK there, s still some connection work to be done and is pretty long walk, I, d not advise to connect with ARL that way with substantial luggage. 

Will post some pictures when arrive home as I need to sort through them. 

From tourist point of view line us if little use but when full length will be operational it will greatly ease an access to  Lad Prao upper sois and their massage places. 

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