‘More vehicles than people’: Bangkok’s path to liveable city blocked


Bangkokians’ reluctance to switch from vehicle ownership to public transport is a big obstacle to creating a liveable city, Mahidol University's Faculty of Engineering said on Sunday.

"Shifting to public transport, walking and cycling will help improve transportation in Bangkok in a sustainable manner," the faculty said, adding that it will also reduce pollution emissions that plague the capital and its residents.

The number of vehicles in Bangkok exceeds the population of the capital, according to the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning.

The capital has 10.67 million registered vehicles compared to 10.53 million people.

Personal vehicles also account for more than two-thirds (68.7%) of overall travel in Bangkok, followed by public transport (20.2%), walking (5%), taxis (4.2%) and buses (1.9%).

Data shows that 54% of hazardous PM2.5 pollution in Greater Bangkok comes from road traffic, followed by the industrial sector (22%), households (11%), other transport (10%) and agriculture, energy and waste management (1% each).

"Even though a large amount has been invested in public transport to support the city’s expansion, it cannot solve existing traffic issues," the faculty said.

Traffic congestion in Bangkok is still among the worst in Southeast Asia despite a citywide public transport system of trains and buses.

The Mahidol engineers said traffic issues are reducing Bangkok's liveability and the quality of life of its residents.

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