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BTS Green Line’s New Era: Bangkok Commuters Gear Up for Affordable Fare Changes

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Imagine this: you’re zipping through the bustling cityscape of Bangkok on the BTS Green Line, the city’s answer to lightning-fast urban travel. There’s something undeniably euphoric about travelling above the city, watching the rich tapestry of street life blur beneath you. But what’s this? News has just rolled in, and it’s time to reach for your wallets, dear commuters! The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has just announced a zesty change that’s set to kick off on the cool morning of January 2nd – a new fare for the Green Line’s eagerly anticipated second extension routes. With a sprinkle of excitement and a dash of dread, riders will bid adieu to free rides, embracing instead a flat fare fiesta of 15 baht a trip. That’s right – just 15 baht to glide along the 12.8km from Bearing to Kheha in Samut Prakan or float over the 18.4km stretch from Mo Chit to Saphan Mai and all the way to Khu Khot.

But wait, there’s a silver lining for the studious and the small – students and the young ‘uns waving their magical Rabbit children cards will be treated to an even thriftier fare of 10 baht. Though a whisper in the wind once spoke of a 62-baht cap along the entire emerald serpentine that is the Green Line, that dream now nestles in the folds of yesterday.

Ahem, let’s not forget to tip our hats to Surapong Laoha-Unya, the illustrious CEO of Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), who assured us that his teams have been prepped and primed to roll out the hot new fares without a hiccup. “We’re slapping on those fare notices lickety-split,” he might have said with a twinkle in his eye, “so commuters won’t be caught unaware.”

Cast your mind back – the glee of complimentary commutes has colored our jaunts along these extensions since their grand debuts. From the inaugural journey on April 3, 2017 of the Bearing-Samrong stretch to the historical moment on December 6, 2018 when Samrong shook hands with Samut Prakan, it’s been a ride without a toll. But let’s not forget the merriment that began at the Mo Chit-Lat Phrao intersection on August 9, 2019, cascading down to the joyous flourish when the line extended to Kasetsart on December 4 the same year, culminating in a full connection on December 16, 2020.

But now, as the BMA eyes the ominous clouds of swelling debt, we understand this fiscal tug-of-war. With the BTSC owed a hefty 30 billion baht for their stellar service, it makes sense to collect some coins from the estimated 400,000 daily passengers. After all, a penny for your train thoughts, right?

Intriguing whispers from the corridors of the Transport Ministry suggest a tantalizing upgrade on the horizon, with whiffs of an EMV contactless payment system akin to those embraced by MRTA and State Railway of Thailand. This nifty change is all part of a greater scheme – a common ticket system that promises a dance of convenience for the government.

And if you’ve got a penchant for colorful transit maps, rejoice! The Green Line’s second extension plays nice with others, making friends easily with the Pink Line monorail at Wat Phra Si Mahathat station and fist-bumping the Yellow Line monorail at Samrong station. So here’s to new beginnings, Bangkok. May your journeys be ever swift, affordable, and, yes, a tad more engaging with this fresh twist in the tale of transit.

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