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A hard morning for Bangkok commuters as BTS gets a late start
Tires thrown onto the tracks before the Skytrain’s 6am opening left thousands scrambling for alternative ways to get to work
Thousands of Bangkokians were left scrambling for taxis, buses and commuter vans Tuesday morning after the BTS Skytrain delayed operations until 10am due to a blockage on the tracks at Chidlom station.
The Nation reported that at 5am a group of protesting red shirts carried several tires up to the Chidlom BTS station and threw them onto the tracks, though the red shirt leaders said on stage at the Rajprasong rally site that the decision to block the tracks was not made by them. The Skytrain authority then ordered the suspension of all services shortly before the scheduled openings at 6am.
Some of the stranded Bangkokians decided to take their personal vehicles, adding to the city’s already dismal traffic situation, while the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority added more buses and vans to aid commuters. According to the BTS website, Bangkok’s Skytrain system serves about 450,000 passengers a day.
The BTS has since resumed operations, though it will stop running at 8pm on Tuesday. Twitter was filled with tweets from Bangkokians offering updates on the blockages and traffic issues, as well as their frustrations, such as these:
“I was at Saphan Kwai. Took MRT instead. Inside the train is bumper to bumper [packed].”
“Traffic is really bad on Sukhumvit//i'm turning back home; can go nowhere!”
“The bus's become the bts this morning! Absolutly packed! http://twitpic.com/1irhyu”