The BTS skytrain this morning announced that it will stop selling multi-trip packages, blaming changing commuter “behavior” to the pandemic.
Surapong Laoha-unya, chief executive of the Bangkok Mass Transit System, which runs BTS Skytrain, said they will scrap the 30-day trip packages, which means commuters will only be able to pay per trip or add money to their Rabbit Card passes.
“Today, passengers’ traveling behavior has changed, and they have more travel options,” Surapong said in this morning’s announcement. “Moreover, due to uncertainty during the pandemic, passengers are unable to plan their trips in advance like they had been able to do.
“Another thing is that paying the fare in advance seems no longer effective,” Surapong added. He did not elaborate.
The 30-day packages were commonly used by office workers who travel daily to the workplace, as it works out to cost less per trip. For adults, they ranged from THB465 for 15 trips (THB31 per trip) to THB1,300 for 50 trips (THB26 per trip).
As of August, the skytrain system reported that daily ridership had fallen nearly 84% from pre-pandemic levels of about 800,000 to around 130,000.
Single trips currently range from THB16 to THB44 along the main, original system. Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang earlier this year said that the capital city’s longest rail line, which stretches between northern and southeastern metro Bangkok, could rise to as high as THB158 per trip, which triggered public outrage and objections from lawmakers.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the effective date as this week when it is in fact Sept. 30.