What Will Happen to the Water Taxis of Klong San Saep

The water taxis of Klong San Saep are a delightfully low-tech and inexpensive way for commuters in the Bangkapi and Ramkhamhaeng areas of town to quickly get into and out of the Sukhumvit Road area of Bangkok. While the roads around the Klong are jam-packed with cars during rush hour, taking the water taxis from the Mall Bangkapi will take less than a half-hour to reach Thonglor Road.

The water taxis are jam-packed themselves for their speedy and cheap way of commuting. Although it can be a hot, crowded and diesel exhaust-filled ride in good weather and an uncomfortable drenching ride in bad, it’s always been popular because of its speed and low fare.

But once the long-awaited MRT extensions along Lat Phrao and Ramkhamhaeng Roads open, what will become of the water taxis? And as the water taxis are the only boats using Klong San Saep, what will the klong be used for?

Major Commute Options

When the first MRT line was launched along Ratchada Road, the traffic along Ratchada and Asoke Roads seemed to ease for a while until the rail commuting population increased to take advantage of the new commute option. Then, the MRT was full, but so were the surface roads.

This time, there will be two MRT lines opening that should dramatically affect the traffic volume in the Bangkapi area. And the water taxis might experience a drop in the number of passengers, making it difficult to continue operating.But if the city has learned anything from the Ratchada MRT line operation, they’ll continue to subsidize the water taxis as an additional option in commuting. And my guess is there will still be plenty of commuters that prefer to travel into town by boat.

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