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The Bts Ate My Baby


polecat

What gets your goat about the BTS?  

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I don't use it that often -

By the time I've waited outside my apt to get a taxi, then arrived at the station, walked up the stairs, waited at the platform, travelled in a crowded BTS carriage for which the air-con has not adapted and is not cool enough, then walked to my destination... I'm too hot, sticky and uncomfortable... depending on my location often sitting in a taxi or car even if it takes 15-20 mins longer (generally) is my preferred option.

The BTS is great late Nov to late Jan - But I think now its becoming a little uncomfortable to use unless going from Emporium to Paragon (which has direct access).

Personally in the day time I'd rather get in my own car and have my air-con on subzero, however the skytrain can prove invaluable on Friday evenings when in a rush and I don't want to take my car cos I'll be drinking... However, I mostly take a cab because the skytrain doesn't suit my destinations....

I voted for the chargers... that level of ignorance is annoying anywhere....

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I used to justify taxis as well, and yes occasionally they are the better way to go; but 8 times out of 10 it is always better to take the BTS.

My biggest complaint is the advertising that pervades your existence as soon as you enter the premises.

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I voted for the pole dancers...but could of picked several. Curious though, as often as I ride the skytrain which is pretty often since it opened I don't think I ever heard farang whingers? Elaborate please. On Thaivisa...I read many posts by whingers but never heard them on the BTS. Usually they are relived to be in the air conditioning.

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I see overwhelming support for chargers. Gotta admit, that drives me up the wall. Its one of the reasons I have a four day limit for my trips to Bangkok. By the end of the four days I start getting that old postal feeling :o

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I see overwhelming support for chargers. Gotta admit, that drives me up the wall. Its one of the reasons I have a four day limit for my trips to Bangkok. By the end of the four days I start getting that old postal feeling :o

I hear you, but they don't get to me as much as the pole dancers.

I've got a tactic for the chargers, you see. You remember Ben Hur? That bit with the spikes on the wheels? Well that's me, except with elbows. Elbows out as I exit the carriage and I try to take as many of the chargers out as I can. Whenever I hear an "Ow!", I have a little smile.

With the pole dancers, when I get home I keep telling my missus that I jam my hand into their back and shove them off. But in reality I don't. I just stand there, stare and sulk. I'm such a wuss.

(Oh, flightcrew, I didn't really mean farangs whinging on the BTS - it was a bit of a dig at myself for posting such a whinging topic)

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Registered the first vote for "Squeeze" - would make so much more sense to just add just one more carriage on, at least during rush hour.

The fact that the machines don't take notes is irritating also, although it rarely affects me as I use a Smartpass. And why do you have to try 3 or 4 times to get your 1 Baht coins to be accepted by the ticket machines? The MRT have it sorted, why not the BTS?

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Chargers, and those who stop for 10 seconds in front of escalator trying to decide when is good time to hop on or should it be left or right foot first !
I've mentioned this once before on here, but these are my two. I really appreciate having the BTS and MRT and these are small prices to pay, but they just drive me up the wall some days. The chargers are more irritating, but I'm 6'3" and pretty broad, so while I'm normally incredibly courteous and polite in Thailand in this situation I just take the people down by walking straight into them. That's easily solved. The escalator people are the ones that absolutely baffle me. What is the big mystery - why do they need to stop and stare at the thing and then wait and put their foot down? Sidewalk behavior is always bizarre in Bangkok, but this one absolutely vexes me. I'm sure someone can explain what's going on, but I haven't found an answer yet. Is there a pervasive fear that the escalator is going to eat one's shoe or foot? Are people afraid of losing their balance if they step on a joint?

I'll add a wrinkle too - as insane as these people are at getting on the escalator, they're equally insane at getting off. They'll wait until the absolute last second when the stair is disappearing for good before they step off and then, because of the awkwardness involved in that motion, they'll stop momentarily and just stand there before walking again. How the hel_l is any of this hard? I just don't get it. Walk onto the dam_n thing and walk off. Honest to God I'm a really happy and nice guy, but for some reason sidewalk and BTS behavior here just gnaws at my otherwise angelic nature.

The original post missed one of the more glaring recurring problems, by the way. The lady (it's always a woman, I think it's because of the purse) who gets to the automated gate and realizes she hasn't pulled out her BTS card and who then, instead of moving aside to look for it, stands inside the gate patiently digging in the purse for the BTS card for 5, 10, sometimes up to 30 seconds or more while everyone else in line waits and gets backed up.

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Chargers, and those who stop for 10 seconds in front of escalator trying to decide when is good time to hop on or should it be left or right foot first !
I've mentioned this once before on here, but these are my two. I really appreciate having the BTS and MRT and these are small prices to pay, but they just drive me up the wall some days. The chargers are more irritating, but I'm 6'3" and pretty broad, so while I'm normally incredibly courteous and polite in Thailand in this situation I just take the people down by walking straight into them. That's easily solved. The escalator people are the ones that absolutely baffle me. What is the big mystery - why do they need to stop and stare at the thing and then wait and put their foot down? Sidewalk behavior is always bizarre in Bangkok, but this one absolutely vexes me. I'm sure someone can explain what's going on, but I haven't found an answer yet. Is there a pervasive fear that the escalator is going to eat one's shoe or foot? Are people afraid of losing their balance if they step on a joint?

I'll add a wrinkle too - as insane as these people are at getting on the escalator, they're equally insane at getting off. They'll wait until the absolute last second when the stair is disappearing for good before they step off and then, because of the awkwardness involved in that motion, they'll stop momentarily and just stand there before walking again. How the hel_l is any of this hard? I just don't get it. Walk onto the dam_n thing and walk off. Honest to God I'm a really happy and nice guy, but for some reason sidewalk and BTS behavior here just gnaws at my otherwise angelic nature.

The original post missed one of the more glaring recurring problems, by the way. The lady (it's always a woman, I think it's because of the purse) who gets to the automated gate and realizes she hasn't pulled out her BTS card and who then, instead of moving aside to look for it, stands inside the gate patiently digging in the purse for the BTS card for 5, 10, sometimes up to 30 seconds or more while everyone else in line waits and gets backed up.

Great post!

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I'm sure there are many others on this forum who, like me, remember not so long ago when Bangkok had no BTS, MRT or even metered taxis. All of these modes of transportation are (relatively speaking) rather new to Thailand. Give it a few more years and it won't be any different here than anywhere else. In the meantime I suggest we all try to teach by example.

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My friend wrote a whinging editorial for the BKK post a few months ago about the noise on the Skytrain from the TV commercials. Nothing seemed to come of it. However, an editorial he wrote about the piss-poor job the security people were doing on the MRT led to a hearing! Man, if I wanted to smuggle a bomb onto the subway it would be easy as hel_l... they just laxidazically shine those flashlights into my overflowing backpack-- I could easily have some explosives and they would never notice.

On the other hand I do have to admit that the BTS is one of the cleanest, nicest forms of public transport I've ever used.

Edited by Genghis
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I never saw Bangkok before the BTS and can only imagine how hard it would be to get around (I always stay fairly close to it..)

My gripes are lack of escalators - it's a long way up and someone with mobility issues would find it unuseable. And overcrowding. The stations are built for longer trains, so hopefully they'll buy some more rolling stock before long.

Never had a problem with chargers, but then I catch the tube every day and am used to ignorance from other passengers.

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I never saw Bangkok before the BTS and can only imagine how hard it would be to get around (I always stay fairly close to it..)

My gripes are lack of escalators - it's a long way up and someone with mobility issues would find it unuseable. And overcrowding. The stations are built for longer trains, so hopefully they'll buy some more rolling stock before long.

Never had a problem with chargers, but then I catch the tube every day and am used to ignorance from other passengers.

It was always a case of you lived within walking distance of where you work. If you move job, you move location also. Probably still true for the majority that don't work near a BTS/MRT.

Bangkok has a very extensive and cheap bus network too if you are going against the traffic flow it can be a very pleasant journey.

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The escalator thing

Try getting fairly drunk. Then deprive yourself of sleep, say, allow yourself 4 hours. In the morning go to a shopping mall and wander around aimlessly with no sense of purpose bar vaguely looking at things.

You will find that the part of your brain that plans ahead for the next few minutes has for the most part shut down. You might feel tired easily and have wish to utter "neuay" quite often. You will also find that at about 1 metre before an escalator you will be forced to make a decision over whether to get on or do a last-minute abort manoeuvre. The decision-making process will be hindered by the fact that your planning department is still on a long weekend. You ponder where you are and why you came here in the first place and you don't really know the answers. Your feet have long since come to a complete stop. What to do? If you take the escalator and it's the wrong decision, you'll have to come all the way back up or down again. What a fag! Aaagghh! What to do?? Suddenly a farang clatters into the back of you propelling you on to the escalator. Thank goodness for that. That decision-making was beginning to give you a headache.

You have just entered the mind of a Thai.

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I was on the train and a big farang who had been leaning on the partition reading a magazine, went for a vacant seat while the passengers were in state of flux, but was beaten to it, a little embarrassed he retreated to the pole, where I was surprised to see a very petite girl engageing him in conversation, actually she was signalling him to allow her to remove her hand, the fingers of which were held firmly against the pole by his large trunk. He released her with a vacuaous look resumed his position and returned to the magazine he was reading; such is the nature of the language barrier. The lady meanwhile was massageing her hand and examining her fingers; in some distress. My instinct was to make a vagarious gesture and give up my seat to her by way of apology for my countyman's behaviour, but as is often the case I was too slow and the moment was lost. I have to vote for the pole dancers.

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Sorry, but this POLL was not the best method as asking views. By using Radio Buttons, you can only vote for ONE option.

With Check Boxes, I could have voted for many items which I recognise.

I still like the BTS and use it when I come up for a day or so. I get the Pattaya Bus to On Nut and get the BTS into town. Saves the long crawl to Ekamii.

I have yet to try the underground.

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Ahh the chargers. It's never a cute girl running into me though.

Subway is so clean you can eat off the floors. That's one good thing about both systems: The rules about no food or drink. Keeps the place so clean, and no roaches or rodents as I have seen in other cities.

But man those stations. I know I need the exercise, but after a few beers, by the time I get off at Asoke, each of those steps makes my need to pee even greater, so that by the time I get back to the President, I'm about ready to have a Pattaya moment and wet myself.

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I'm sure there are many others on this forum who, like me, remember not so long ago when Bangkok had no BTS, MRT or even metered taxis. All of these modes of transportation are (relatively speaking) rather new to Thailand. Give it a few more years and it won't be any different here than anywhere else. In the meantime I suggest we all try to teach by example.

Ah those were the days.

When your Mercedes Limousine driver would meet you at the airport

and take you everywhere for less than 500 Baht per day.

It was such an honour for a driver to have a Falung.

He would clean and polish the interior and the exterior of his car.

It was rather like a bar girl has a Falung for his holiday.

1986 - yes 23 years ago.

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I voted for squeeze, but the thing that actually annoys me most is that the BTS and MRT don't have a single shared stored value card.

i.e. Octopus in HK is so prevalent that you can use it in underground, trams, trains, ferries, buses and even in vending machines (outside of stations, not just the ones in the stations).

It's even more the case in Tokyo where Suica became so common they even built it into mobile phones (Felica).

Even Oyster in London can be used on most public transport (except some trains won't take pay as you go).

But Thailand has two services, and they each need their own card? Will this mean the train services added with the airport link will need a third card?

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I use the BTS daily, To and From work - i'd be lost/screwed without it :o

Keri Kanjanpapas (Tanayong) should be Knighted or made into a Khunying or whatever is the honour for greatest contribution to solving Bangkok's problems.

Agreed - however they could improve things a lot more by increasing the number of lines and extending what they currently have (both BTS and MRT)

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