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1 million Bangkok Skytrain passengers gain better communication

The Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) has been designed to ease traffic congestion for passengers in the city. Comprising 43 stations along two lines for a total length of 52 km, the BTS is one of Asia’s most successful mass transit systems and serves 1 million Bangkok passengers daily.

The BTS system will be expanding to almost double the size in coming years, reaching 89 km of track with new lines and stations across the whole of the city.

Our partner in Thailand, Risk Protection Limited, has been supplying and installing security and AV equipment to the BTS since the system’s launch in 1999, and in 2018 the BTS asked to upgrade the systems in newly refurbished ticket windows. Our partner’s engineers met with the BTS technical team to learn of their requirements and a detailed site survey was conducted in the ticket offices. Based on these findings, templates and models of solutions were created and proposed.

Risk and Contacta’s technical team worked together and a bespoke system was designed to improve speech transmission at new BTS stainless steel counters.

The redesigned system offers an improved cosmetic appearance of the speaker housing and provides improved sound quality using a new open duplex amplifier with an integrated hearing loop function. It features two surface-mounted customer speaker modules and a close-talking customer ‘bridge’ mounted microphone to replace previous ‘flush mounted’ components. These changes offer improved voice reproduction, better intelligibility even in noisy stations and are far more robust due to vandal-proof construction.

Feedback on the new systems has been extremely positive from both the BTS and its customers. The addition of the integrated hearing loop has also improved the accessibility of the BTS ticket offices for its customers with hearing loss. Graham Murrell, Managing Director of Risk Protection Ltd, said:

“The integration of the new Speech Transfer Systems with the surface mounted speakers and hearing loops has been a success. We faced tough price competition by Far Eastern manufacturers but our client understood the higher quality of Contacta systems will last longer. Our previous systems purchased from Contacta and installed at BTS stations 20 years ago were still working as they should, which was a testament to the reliability and quality of the product and installation.”

New lines are being built across Bangkok for the extension of the Skytrain, with completion planned in 2022. Contract details are therefore being finalised for the supply and installation of Contacta Speech Transfer Systems to all ticket offices on new lines.

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