UMR Index


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Score: 43.0%

Sustainable Mobility


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Score: 35.3%

Public Transit


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Score: 47.5%

Population 14.5 million
Surface area (km2) 3,199
Population-density (people/km2) 4,545
GDP per capita ($) 17,783
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What Bangkok Does Well in Urban Mobility

From light rail to river taxis, Bangkok is linked by a strong multimodal network that enables residents to park at commuter lots and bring bicycles on public transportation. The government continues to invest in expanding the network to support growth, reduce traffic congestion, and make Bangkok a greener, more livable city. Two new monorail lines are reportedly due to open by mid-2024 and the first portion of a new mass rapid transit line is slated to open in 2025.

Commuters in Bangkok often opt for public transit instead of personal car usage, in part, because of the diverse range of reliable and fast options, led by the city's driverless rail lines.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for Bangkok’s Transportation System

Once a hub for international travel, Bangkok’s airline passenger volume declined the last few years, in part due to lingering travel restrictions related to COVID-19. However, Suvarnabhumi Airport reportedly opened a new terminal in 2023 that is expected to boost capacity by a third, to 60 million passengers a year, to accommodate an expected surge of tourism.

Despite low car ownership levels among residents, Bangkok’s government has been slow to build infrastructure like car-free zones or cycleways to support more active forms of mobility.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How Bangkok Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

Bangkok lags behind many of its peers with few car-free zones. The city can follow the example of others by piloting car-free zones in small increments at first, such as on specific days of the week or during summer months, and later expand them based on public perception and utilization.

With relatively high fares compared with household income, Bangkok has one of the least affordable public transit systems in the region. To help close this gap with other Asia-Pacific cities, Bangkok can provide subsidies for transit fares. This can be accomplished in multiple ways, including lowering fares for all travelers, lowering fares on an income basis, or selling long-term passes (monthly or quarterly, perhaps) that discount fares for regular transit users. The government is working to address the issue, and in October 2023 it reduced fares on one line.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores