Using Bangkok’s Mass Transit System, or BTS, is a daily event for most of the residents who work, live, and play in the areas covered by the elevated train, which began service in 1999. Surprisingly, cyclists can also take advantage of this great mass transit service without having to pay any additional fees for bringing along a bike. So, the next time you need to:
- Transport your bike to your favorite local bike shop for some much needed repairs,
- Avoid an overly congested area of downtown Bangkok during your next ride or
- Start using a combination of mass transit and a bicycle to complete your daily commute to work or school
Consider using the BTS! BicycleThailand is here to give you the details on just how to do it.
Currently, transporting a bicycle is allowed on both the Silom and Sukhumvit lines of the BTS. Both lines run from 6:00 am until 12:00 midnight. There is no additional fee for transporting a bicycle on the BTS but there are some guidelines that you should familiarize yourself with if you intend to take advantage of this great service.
For further details including fees, maps and station listing please visit the www.bts.co.th/en website.
While it may seem like a tempting adventure, it is forbidden to ride your bicycle on the BTS walkways. The extremely high amount of foot traffic makes it nearly impossible anyways.
Once you have purchased your ticket at the coin-operated ticket vending machine,
proceed with your bike to the gate closest to the ticketing office, adjacent to the turnstile.
There will usually be a uniformed BTS security person nearby who will take your ticket and open the gate, allowing you and your bike to pass through.
If there is not a uniformed BTS security person near the gate you can attract the attention of the BTS personnel inside the ticketing office and they will assist you. Once you have passed through the gate you may gain access to the train platform by using the escalator or stairs.
Please remember to remain to the right of the staircase when ascending and descending. This practice will help to keep you from striking other persons using the staircase with your bicycle.
On the train platform you should situate yourself and your bicycle at either the first or last set of arrows painted on the platform tiles. These arrows correspond to where the train car doors will be when the train arrives.
BTS policy suggests that bicyclists should utilize the first and last cars of the train whenever possible so as to avoid the congestion of persons entering and exiting from the middle cars of the train where staircase access is most abundant. A particularly good place to load your bicycle is at the joint section between two train cars, as this area has ample space to maneuver in and is usually void of passengers outside of peak hours.
When the train arrives you must first wait and allow passengers to exit from the train and then assess whether there is enough open space inside the train car to accommodate you and your bicycle. It is advisable to load your bicycle in to the train backwards instead of pushing your front wheel in first. This will make it much easier to exit the train when you arrive at your destination.
You should avoid placing your bicycle in the aisle section of the train car where the seats are located. It is much better to utilize the open space adjacent to the door area or between two connecting train cars.
Do not lean your bike against the doors once they close. Always maintain control of your bicycle while the train is in motion. Always keep your bike clear of the door area so that persons entering and exiting the train can do so without coming into contact with your bike.
When you arrive at your destination exit the train front wheel first and proceed to the stairs leading down to the ticket turnstile.
Once again, remain to the right side of the staircase while descending.
Pass through the gate near the ticket turnstile in the same manner as before, assisted by BTS security personnel, and proceed to the street via the exit number of your choosing. Happy Riding!
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