Bangkok’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) network is the city’s modern and easy-to-use underground transport system. It is fast, convenient and punctual, and a great way to avoid peak traffic in the streets above. The train carriages are spacious, air-conditioned and frequent.
The network first opened in 2004, and for many years consisted of one line, the Blue Line, serving 18 stations. But in August 2016 the Purple Line opened adding another 16 stations.
The MRT system covers many of the main areas of Thailand’s capital and runs daily from very early in the morning until midnight.
The Blue Line, officially known as the Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line runs from Hua Lampong (near Chinatown) in the south of the city to Bang Sue in the north, and comprises 18 stations. They extend across a 20-kilometre route.
Each Blue Line station has three levels: the retail level where passengers can shop in a number of different stores, the concourse level where tokens and stored value cards can be purchased and the platform level.
There are two types of platforms: the island platform that serves both tracks, north and south bound trains and the side platform. This serves only one direction, either north or south bound trains.
The 18 stations of the Blue Line are:
- Bang Sue
- Hua Lamphong
- Sam Yan
- Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre
- Lat Phrao
- Si Lom
- Khlong Toei
- Thailand Cultural Centre
- Phra Ram 9
- Huai Khwang
- Chatuchak Park
- Phahon Yothin
- Kamphaeng Phet
The operating hours of the Blue Line are: every day from 06:00 am to midnight.
Frequency of service: during the peak hours of 06:00 am to 09:00 am and 04:30 pm to 07:30 pm there is less than a five minute interval between trains. During off-peak hours the interval between trains is less than ten minutes.
There are 16 elevated stations along a 20-kilometre route. Except for Poon Station, the interchange station, they are constructed on three levels. Access from the street is via stairs, escalators and elevators.
The concourse level is where you will find the ticket vending machines, station operation offices, a handful of retail shops and the access control gates. The platform level is where the trains stop and benefits from a number of safety features, including half-height platform screen doors that provide a barrier between passengers and the tracks. All of the stations on the Purple Line have elevators and facilities such as ramps for wheelchair users.
The 16 stations of the Purple Line are:
- Bang Phlu
- Talad Bang Yai
- Khlong Bang Phai
- Sam Yaek Bang Yai
- Bang Rak Noi Tha It
- Ministry of Public Health
- Bang Rak Yai
- Phra Nang klao Bridge
- Yaek Nonthaburi 1
- Bang Kraso
- Sai Ma
- Nonthaburi Civic Center
- Yaek Tiwanon
- Bang Son
- Wong Sawang
- Tao Poon
The operating hours of the Purple Line are:
Monday to Friday from 05:30 am – midnight.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 06:00 am to midnight.
Park and Ride
Both the Blue Line and the Purple Line offer a Park and Ride facility at a number of stations. Passengers can leave their cars in designated buildings prior to boarding the train for their journey. The buildings have CCTV and fire alarm systems and operator-driven ticketing booths are located at entrances and exits.
Blue Line Park and Ride buildings and parking areas can be found at most stations.
Purple Line Park and Ride Buildings are at the following stations: Sam Yaek Bang Yai, Yaek Nonthaburi 1, Khlong Bang Phai and Bang Rak Noi Tha It.
Purchase tickets from the ticket office at each station or from the ticket vending machines. The ticket offices can issue single journey tokens and stored value cards, and can also add credit to the cards. The vending machines only issue single journey tokens for adults. They are touch screen so just tap on the name of the station you want to go to and the ticket price will be displayed. The machines accept both coins and notes and there is an English language option. Put your money in the appropriate slots and you will receive a small black, plastic token for your journey.
There are three ticket types:
Single Journey Token: this is used for one journey – from Station A to Station B – and is a distance-based full fare rate. There are price reductions for children and senior citizens. To use, touch the token on the top surface of the entry gate and drop in the slot of the exit gate when departing a station.
Stored value cards: these are used for multiple journeys and can be purchased at ticket offices. Further top-ups are available, graduated from 100 baht. You cannot load up the card with an amount smaller than 100 baht, and the amount of credit left on the card must not exceed 1,000 baht.
Period pass: used for multiple trips within a specified time period, such as one day. These can be purchased from ticket offices. A one-day pass costs 120 baht and a 3-day pass costs 230 baht. The maximum duration pass is a 30-day pass, which costs 1,400 baht. This can be used for unlimited journeys for 30 consecutive days from the first day of use.
Children and Ticket Prices
Children under 14 years of age and who are less than 90 centimeters tall are entitled to travel for free on the MRT network. Children under 14 who are between 91 and 120 centimeters tall are entitled to the 50% discount rate. Their tickets are only issued at ticket offices.
Safety Tips When Using the MRT
- Pay attention to all warning signs
- Use the stairs if the escalators have stopped
- Parents and guardians are advised not let their children use the escalators on their own
- Do not take prams or baggage onto the escalators
- Enter and exit platform gates one by one
- Stand well back from the platform screen doors
- Let the train passengers exit first before you board
- Don’t attempt to board a train if the doors are closing
- Mind the gap between the train and the platform screen doors
- If any belongings drop onto the track, inform station staff
Important Telephone Number
The MRT Call Centre can be reached on 0-2624-5200. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 07:00 am to 08:00 pm.