Last week while on my way to ride the new Pak Kret Chao Phraya Boat service. I stopped by Saphan Taksin for lunch and while there I also photographed the buses around the Saphan Taksin area. This area is also known as Sathorn or Bangrak.
A little Background on the Saphan Taksin area.
The Saphan Taksin area is located next to the Chao Phraya River in inner Bangkok. The area is named after the modern road bridge that links the Sathorn and Khlong San areas of Bangkok. Saphan Taksin is the current terminus for the BTS elevated metro and the most important boat pier on the Chao Phraya express boat service.
The Saphan Taksin area is one of the older inner city suburbs of Bangkok that was founded in the 19th century as an extension of the Chinatown area. As it’s a rather old area the street layout is poor with a lot of narrow roads which do not cope with today’s traffic loadings leading to massive traffic jams on almost every major and minor road in the Saphan Taksin area at peak times.
As this is an inner city area it is very densely built up with everything from 2 story stone shop houses to 60 story office and condo buildings all fighting for space. This density doesn’t help the transport task of the area as road space is limited and additional elevated rail hard to build.
If one takes a direct bus from Wong Wien Yai to Silom which crosses the Taksin Bridge. At peak times it takes between 60 and 90 minutes to travel the three short kilometers. Giving an average journey speed of just 2 kph! This jam occurs from 5am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 10pm weekends.
The jam is made worse by 3 major junctions just after the Taksin bridge that cannot be grade separated due presence of other major structures. These junctions operate all day at far above there physical maximum capacity leading to long jams. One broken down car will gridlock the area for hours. Only heavy rail metro can ease this areas traffic problem now.
Saphan Taksin is a major transport interchange for tens of thousands of people every hour that pass though the area either by bus, boat, motorbike taxi or BTS. As Saphan Taksin is the terminal for the BTS as well as the Chao Phraya Express Boat there is a huge volume of passenger transfer in this area.
For the bus passengers things are not as good as it is for the boat and BTS passengers as there is a number of rather disjointed and very congested metro bus stops on both sides of the Chao Phraya River that often leaves passengers with a long and uncomfortable walk between modes of transport.
Many of the bus passengers must also take the Taksin cross river ferry to transfer to the BTS or other Boat service to complete there journey. The cross river ferry handles around 3500 people per hour at peak with boats leaving every 2 minutes.
The day I photographed the area the traffic on Charoen Krung road was rather light and with a reasonable flow which was good for a change in this area.
1. This is a shot of a Route 120: Mahachai – Khlong San bus. Taken as it was approaching the bus stop in Krung Thonburi road. Bus number 120 – 14. Bus type unknown.
2. This is a shot of a Route 6: Phra Pradaeng – Banglamphu bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Nakhon road. Bus number unknown. Bus type unknown.
3. This is an image of a Route 111: Talat Phlu – Bukkhalo (loop service) bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Nakhon road. Bus number BMTA 5 – 40116. Bus type Hino non aircon. Note this is a free bus.
4. This is a shot of a Route 84: Om Yai – Khlong San bus. Taken as it was turning into Charoen Nakhon Road. Bus number BMTA 6 – 50099. Bus type Isuzu non aircon.
5. This is a shot of a Route 84n: Aue Arthon Village (Salaya) – Khlong San bus. Taken as it was turning into Charoen Nakhon road. Bus number BMTA 6 – 56114. Bus type Isuzu aircon.
6. This is an image of the Taksin cross river ferry waiting to depart from the thonburi side of the Chao Phaya River. Each boat holds 110 people. During peak periods boats depart stuffed full every 2 minutes. Off peak boats depart every 5 – 10 minutes. Taken looking east across the river.
7. This is an inside shot of the Taksin cross river ferry. Note how the inside is designed to maximize the total capacity through the use of mostly standing room. The trip is only 3 to 4 minutes long.
8. This is a movie of a ride on the Taksin cross river ferry. Filmed as it departed from the Thonburi side. Note how the boat bangs into the pier on departure from Thonburi and the rather high water level in the river.
9. This is a shot of a Route 1: Thanon Tok – Tha Tian bus. Taken as it was passing the Robinson shopping centre on Charoen Krung road. Bus number unknown. Bus type Merc mini bus. Note this bus route is a tram replacement service.
10. This is a shot of a Route 77: Mochit 2 – Central Rama 3 bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Krung road. Bus number BMTA 4 – 44193. Bus type Hino aircon.
11. This is a shot of a Route 35: Sao Chingcha – Phra Pradaeng Junction bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Krung road. Bus number 35 – 25. Bus type Hino non aircon.
12. This is a shot of a Route 1 bus and a Route 1271: Wat Phai Nguen – Lerdsin Hospital truck – bus passing each other. Taken looking north along Charoen Krung road. Note the BTS track and road bridges in the background.
13. This is an image of a Route 35 bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Krung road just south of the Taksin Bridge. Bus number 35 – 7. Bus type Hino non aircon. Note the golden dragon route 504 bus heading the other way.
14. This is an image of two Route 17: Victory Monument – Chaeng Ron buses. Taken looking north along Charoen Krung road. Bus numbers unknown. Bus type Merc mini bus.
15. This is a shot of a Route 75: Wat Buddha Bucha – Hualamphong bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Krung road. Bus number BMTA 5 – 40154. Bus type Hino non aircon.
16. This is a shot of a Route 1 bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Krung road. Bus number BMTA 4 – 40499. Bus type Hino non aircon.
17. This is a shot of a Route 504: Rangsit – Thanon Tok bus. Taken looking north along Charoen Krung road. Bus number 504 – 14. Bus type Golden Dragon.
18. This is a shot of the Taksin cross river ferry. Taken from the Chao Phraya Express boat looking north along the river. This cross river ferry operates from 5am to 11pm 7 days a week.
I hope you find the pictures and vehicles shown to be of interest if you view this please post some comments and feelings about the pictures.
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- After living and working in Thailand for over 5 years in October 2010 I relocated from Mahachai Thailand to Melbourne Australia. I have a wide interest in railways, ferries, metros, trams, buses and mass transit system planning throughout Thailand and the Asian region.
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Thai Mass Transport Topics List
- Welcome to the Thai Mass Transport Systems Blog
- The Buses of Rama 2 road
- The Buses of Wong Wian Yai
- SRT Mahachai Train runs with the doors wide open.
- A Trip from Wong Wian Yai to Bang Bon on the SRT Mahachai line.
- A Ride on Route 147 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- A Ride on Route 146 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- The New Southern Bus Terminal + Intercity buses.
- The Mass Transport Vehicles of Mahachai City.
- SRT: The Maeklong line and Maeklong railway market
- The Maeklong Bus Terminal
- The Modern Rail Based Mass Transit of Thailand
- The Modern Bus Based Mass Transport of Bangkok.
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Chao Phraya Express)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Dao Khanong Klong Boat)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Klong Saen Saep Boat service)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Phra Khanong Klong Boat Service)
- SRT: The Mahachai line a trip from Bang Bon to Mahachai.
- SRT: The Mahachai Rail Yard.
- SRT: The Eastern Line and the construction of the Airport Rail Link.
- SRT: The Main System (Hualamphong Station and rail yard).
- SRT: A trip on the Ayutthaya Commuter Line (Main North line).
- The Buses of Suvarnabhumi Airport and Suvarnabhumi Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Prachuap Khiri Khan railway station and night shots.
- The Mass Transport of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
- A Summary Bus Guide to Bangkok’s Mass transport bus system.
- SRT: Thonburi Rail Yard + Thai Steam Engine Fleet.
- The Buses of Nakhon Pathom and Bus Route 402.
- SRT: The Thonburi to Nakhon Pathom Commuter Line.
- The Mega Mochit 2 Bus Terminal.
- Mochit 2: The Metro Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Bang Sue Junction and Station.
- The Main South line: Bang Sue to Taling Chan link.
- The Mass Transport of Samut Chedi and The Temple in the Sea.
- The Mass Transport of Kheha Thonburi + Vans of Rama 2.
- The Buses and Trucks of Paknam City
- The Mass Transport of Phra Pradaeng.
- Free BMTA Bus and SRT rail travel.
- SRT: The Queensland railways SX commuter carriages.
- A little extra BTS and SRT.
- The Bangkok BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System) and Buses of Thaphra.
- SRT Cargo Trains and Chachoengsao Junction (Eastern Line).
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction night shots and movies.
- SRT: Hin Lap Station and Curve + Dong Phraya Yen Pass.
- Alternative Travel arrangements for Bangkok Airport Passengers.
- The Mega Victory Monument Metro Bus Terminal.
- The Eastern Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Cab Ride Mahachai Line: Bang Bon – Wong Wian Yai.
- The Buses of Rangsit.
- The Rangsit Metro Bus Terminal and Bus Depot.
- The Buses of Pathum Thani.
- SRT Northern Line: Paknam Pho Station and Yard.
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction in the Daylight.
- SRT: Bua Yai Line and Chong Samran.
- The Buses of Saphan Taksin.
- The Buses of Sanam Luang and Tha Chang.
- The Buses of Nonthaburi.
- Chao Phraya Express Boats – The New Pak Kret Service.
- The Southern Line: Hat Yai Junction Station and Yard.
- The new BTS Extension to Wong Wian Yai.
- The Tha Din Daeng cross river ferry + Route 20 terminus.
- The Buses of Chinatown.
- The Eastern Line: Kabinburi and Prachantakam.
- SRT: Khok Salung and Pasak Chonlasit Dam.
- SRT: Southern line the second attempt.
- The state of the Mahachai Line and Bang Bon "Track Lake".
- The Mass Transit of Vientiane Laos.
- Udon Thani's Mass Transit System.
- Thai VIP Intercity Buses + Thai - Lao International Buses.
- The Mass Transit of Mukdahan.
- SRT: Hualamphong Station by Night + Overnight Trains.
- SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest – Khun Tan.
- The Bangkok Airport Rail Link: The fastest train in Thailand.
- SRT: Maeklong Line – Ban Bo Station.
- Bangkok BRT System: Chong Nonsi BTS (Sathorn) to Ratchapruek.
- SRT: Mahachai Line + Buses of Wong Wian Yai during morning peak.
- The new BTS extension from On Nut to Bearing.
- SRT Northern line: Steam Locomotives at Bang Pa In.