Bangkokians avoid commuting to protest areas


BANGKOK, Jan 13 – Bangkokians this morning avoided commuting to protest areas, resulting in a smaller number of commuters than usual for public transport such as Skytrain and underground services. 

Ronachit Yaemsaard, deputy governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), said the subway is monitoring passenger safety, particularly at stations near protest sites.

He said usually some 200,000 persons commute by underground trains daily. However, the months-long ongoing demonstrations have resulted in an increased number of passengers to around 270,000 persons/day. The MRT underground can currently support as many as 300,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, at BTS Skytrain stations, stations were especially packed at some stations this morning.

Dr Anat Abhaphirama, director of the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, said the number of commuters using BTS services in general was not unusual this morning. However, passengers were most packed at starting stations at Bang Wa and Bearing Stations and slight at Mo Chit Station, for they avoided travelling and passing protest sites.

The State Railway of Thailand today was sending trains to the suburbs every 15 minutes, while the atmosphere at Don Mueang was not as busy compared to usual days.