Plan B Piloting Smart Bus Shelter Project With the First Smart Bus Shelter In Front of Central Grand Rama 9 Where People Can Check, Charge And Share For Free

BackAug 03, 2020

Traffic and Transportation Department of Bangkok joined forces with the private sector in improving bus shelters to become “Smart Bus Shelter” with the first one located in front of Central Grand Rama 9. The new and modernized smart bus shelter is equipped with 32” LED screen that can display bus numbers and estimated time of arrival of buses. This will help bus passengers in planning their travels more effectively so that they do not have to wait endlessly. The smart bus shelter comes with higher security through CCTV and lighting system as well as a 55” LED display that presents news and PR content useful for passengers from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Furthermore, free mobile charging station and Wi-Fi are also provided at the shelter to help accommodate bus riders in accordance with Smart Bus Shelter initiative as Bangkok aspires to become a Smart City.

In addition, government agencies collaborated with the private sector to develop smart bus shelters per following details.

  1. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration issued a policy to transform existing bus shelters to become
    “Smart Bus Shelter” to accommodate bus commuters and enhance the quality of living of the people.
  2. Plan B Public Company Limited participated in building and maintaining a total of 691 smart bus shelters across Bangkok under the Smart City concept using technology to uplift the quality of life of urban people.
  3. Viabus was developed as a mobile application to help people search for routes, buses, sharing service buses, boats and other modes of transportation which allows people to know locations and estimated time when buses arrive at bus stops covering users not only at bus stops. Users can now download this application in the App Store and Play Store.
  4. Mayday was introduced to conduct a public hearing to design suitable functionalities of the bus shelters to address the practical needs of the Bangkokians.

Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang, Bangkok governor, stated that Bangkok put in place a policy to improve fixed-route bus transportation by upgrading bus shelter to become “Smart Bus Shelter” that provides reporting system that shows estimated arrival time of buses, CCTV, free Wi-Fi and mobile charging station. The completion of this project will help elevate the living quality of the people using bus transportation.

Mr. Panurak Klannurak, director of Traffic and Transportation Department, mentioned that the department has an intention to include private sector to work with Bangkok to improve the way bus shelters are built and maintained in a 10-year project with a pilot phase starting with inner Bangkok to develop smart bus shelters in accordance with the governor’s policy. The policy encourages the private sector to help build and maintain bus shelters for public interest to alleviate problems people are currently facing. Safety and convenience are crucial for providing the necessary infrastructure for the Bangkok population, and public transportation is expected to accommodate people in their travels with a system that helps them better plan their journeys.  

Bus shelters in Bangkok were first developed back in 1998, and since then there was no significant improvement for over 20 years. There are currently 2,089 bus shelters in total across Bangkok, and Plan B was assigned to transform 350 bus shelters to become smart bus shelters during phase 1 of the project. Traffic and Transportation Department also has a plan to expand the project in phase 2 further to cover broader areas of Bangkok in the future.

Miss Phakwan Wongpolthawee, Chief Business Development Officer of Plan B Media Public Company Limited, noted that for phase 1 of Smart Bus Shelter Project, there are 2 types of shelter formats which are Full Function
(100 renovated shelters) and Light Function (250 renovated shelters). This collaboration helps elevate service level for the passengers to international standards like in foreign countries under the concept “Check, Charge, Share” through provided facilities and security such as 32” display of arrival time, free Wi-Fi, mobile charger and CCTV.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has a goal to turn Bangkok into a “Smart City” by encouraging people to use public transportation which will help reduce air pollution. This can only happen only when safety becomes a priority for public transportation.  Improvement of bus shelters is necessary as it helps people manage their daily lives and plan their trips better. Bus shelters need to be more modernized and equipped with a security system and bus information reporting systems such as LED display and Viabus mobile application. This will lead to higher efficiency of public transportation in Bangkok.