The concept of the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) is to bring the level of quality and services of Bangkok’s popular skytrain and subway – to express buses with their own private road lanes.
Officially open in 2011, the BRT runs on dedicated road lanes separated by concrete barriers painted green, from the rest of the street. So while cars and ordinary buses are stuck in traffic, users taking the BRT enjoy a free and unobstructed lane for themselves.
Elevated Quality and Services
Bus stations for the BRT are also isolated from the rest of the traffic. They are situated on elevated islands in the middle of the road, accessed only through designated bridges similar to the BTS. You’ll also be familiar with the escalators at BRT bridgeways that bring you up to the ticket booths as you pass electronic turnstiles and down to the more modern bus stations with monitors displaying bus arrival times.
Buses are custom-upgraded, air-conditioned and also come with monitors accompanied by a familiar sounding voice announcing what the next stop is in English and Thai – very friendly for foreigners who don’t feel like braving it on the regular public buses for a close and personal of the city’s streets and landscape while traveling.
Sathorn – Ratchapreuk BRT Line
The BRT consists of one route that starts in the city and extends to greater parts of Bangkok adding to the transport networks for commuting downtown workers.
BRT Sathorn is the first and main downtown stop that most people are heading to. Primarily, it takes you to the central financial district of Sathorn and it is conveniently linked with the Sathorn Skyway to the Chong Nonsi BTS skytrain station to other business districts Sukhumvit, or Silom just one stop away.
The BRT will take you south on Rama 3 road along the curvature of the Chaophraya River through districts Yan Nawa and Bang Kho Laem where BRT riders receive the most benefit as there is no rail transit coverage there. You will pass by the Rama 9 bridge before crossing over the Chaophraya on the Rama 3 Bridge to the final stop at BRT Ratchapreuk. The Ratchapreuk area is increasing in popularity because of its quiet residential sprawl and BTS skytrain access namely the BTS Talat Phlu station, which connects directly with the BRT Ratchapreuk completing skytrain access on both ends of the BRT line.
Schedules and Prices
Buses run every 5 minutes during peak rush hours 6:30am – 9:30am and 4:00pm – 8:00pm. On regular hours buses arrive 10 minutes from each other.
For an end-to-end 22 kilometer trip from Sathorn to Ratchapreuk, the maximum bus fare is just 20 baht to cover all its 12 stops.
BRT Map source: Wikipedia