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Social media speaks out after proposed BTS fare increases

Social media speaks out after proposed BTS fare increases

BTS skytrain passengers say they want better service after the private operator announced a fare hike starting from Oct 1.

Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, operator of the BTS skytrain, said Tuesday it would raise its fares to 16-44 baht from 15-42 baht, saying it had not raised its fares in four years, with the hikes in line with the concession contract.

The company says it will provide a promotion for six months to keep the same fare rates for those who use top-up cards.

Passengers interviewed at the stations expressed mixed reactions following the ticket price hikes of 1-3 baht per trip, while several Twitter users said the fare increases would affect them. @Phil_Prajaya wrote on Twitter: “BTS is raising fares. Why doesn’t it cut fares during non-rush hour periods so more people use it during those times?”

@llNooNaall wrote: “Cheap … not! BTS hikes fares again and again, and it goes out of service when I am in a hurry. BTS fares are going up but my salary is the same. I am almost broke for the whole of the month.”

But many passengers said they would have to accept the fare hikes. Kittichote Tangsirimanakul, 27, who makes a daily commute from Asoke to Chidlom on the BTS, said he had no better alternative despite the cost, as the BTS cuts down on commuting times.

“But the BTS is unpredictable and crowded,” he said Another skytrain user, 30, who was travelling towards Siam, said the price hikes would hit regular commuters the hardest.

“When it’s rush hour, we don’t have the time to choose modes of transport, so we opt for the fastest one, which is likely the BTS. No matter what happens, people will still have to use it,” she said.

“It will always be a necessity.” But a 36-year-old programmer travelling from Victory Monument said the price hikes were understandable, considering the current skytrain and subway expansion plans.

“It’s going to be an inconvenience for one-way ticket holders,” he said.

“But if they are taking all the money earned from the price hikes to improve the systems and expand routes, it is acceptable.”

By contrast, Sinchai Phamornphol posted a picture of heavy traffic under a gloomy sky and wrote on Facebook:

Rain, traffic jams, expensive expressway fees, BTS fare hikes, taxis who turn down fares, crowded vans, I don’t want to ride a motorcycle and there is no bicycle lane. What choice do I have?”

Source: Bangkok Post

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