With the new MRT purple line between Khlong Bang Phai-Tao Poon set to open this year, we look at what developments we can realistically expect from public transport by 2020 (fingers crossed).
See also: As Bangkok gears up for a single ticket transport system, here's everything we know so far
1. The MRT purple line
Set to officially launch on Mother’s Day, Aug 12, the first section of the much-delayed MRT purple line will run between Khlong Bang Phai-Tao Poon. A trial period will commence in May, when you can ride for free, before the full fare kicks in (B14-42). This line is a much-welcomed development for residents of Nonthaburi. Of note for those living in central Bangkok, the line will take you straight to the massive Central Westgate Bangyai (see below), one of the city's more significant recent mega-mall openings. The purple line will connect with the existing Bang Sue station and eventually also run from Tao Pun-Rat Burana.
2. BTS Sukhumvit line
Since its conception in 1999, Bangkok's BTS skytrain has been operating on two lines—Sukhumvit and Silom—which presently service a total of 34 stations.
The Sukhumvit line is set to extend from Bearing through Samutprakarn and all the way to Bang Pu. Said to be operational by early 2020, the extension will cover seven stations and is supposedly 57.06-percent complete already. That will easily get you to the picturesque Ancient City (Muang Boran, below), the seaside Samutprakarn City Hall and Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm.
From Mo Chit, meanwhile, there is also a plan to extend to Saphan Mai through to Khu Khot, which is also expected to be completed in 2020, too. Highlights on this line include Kasetsart University, 11th Infantry Regiment (where the last Maya Music Festival was held) and the Royal Air Force Museum.
3. The MRT blue line
The MRT has been operating since 2004, with just the one line covering 18 stations. Construction to expand the current blue line from Hua Lamphong-Bang Kae (14km) will commence next year, and has been scheduled for completion within four years. That means your trips to explore the Old Town will be much more convenient as the line passes through Charoenkrung, Chinatown, Sanam Chai Road (Museum Siam and Wat Pho) and Pak Khlong Talad over to the Thonburi side of the city. The first 4km of the line from Hua Lamphong to Tha Phra will be underground, before it converts into an overground train for the rest of the journey to Bang Kae (9km).
4. The SRT dark red line
Finally, the Bangsue-Rangsit dark red line, covering some 24.6km of Bangkok (and planned to connect to the North/Northeastern region of the country in the future) as part of the planned SRT Red Line suburban railway system, is scheduled to be complete by 2019 after some delays in the bidding process. Why we're excited? No more ungodly traffic time on the way to Don Muang Airport, improved access to MOCA (see below).
Further down the tracks
Looking at the complete map of all the future lines, here’s a brief summary of transport coverage you can expect...eventually:
Dark red line -- Hua Mak-Bang Sue-Thammasat Rangsit Campus
Light red line -- Taling Chan-Bang Sue-Hua Mak
Pink line -- Khae Rai-Minburi
Orange line--Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Center- Minburi
Yellow line -- Lad Phrao-Pattanakarn-Samrong
Sukhumvit line -- Mochit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot, and Bearing-Samut Prakarn-Bang Pu
Silom line -- Yotse-National Stadium-Saphan Taksin-Bang Wa
Purple line -- Bang Yai-Bang Sue-Ratburana
Blue line -- Hua Lamphong-Bangkhae and Bangsue-Tha Phra-Phutthamonthon Sai 4
Extended Airport Rail Link-- Phayathai-Bang Sue-Don Muang
The other side of the MRT purple line
Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Center-Minburi