It seems as if the new Airport Rail Link is not as popular as planned. While full numbers were not disclosed, the following quote from NNT says it all in my opinion; ” there have only been a few numbers of airport passengers using the service at Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station”.
Even though passengers are not using the rail link as much as expected, the State Railway of Thailand has gone ahead with plans to increase the fare by 50% effective January 1st. That means it will now cost you 150 baht for a one way ticket on the Airport Rail Link. If you are traveling alone this seems a fair price on the surface, however in many cases you’ll need to get a taxi from your end point on the railway anyway, so why not skip the hassle and just get your taxi at the airport. And if there are 2 or more in your party then a taxi is just as cost effective to get you where you’re going.
If you are traveling from Bangkok onwards then you may be pleased that Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways now have facilities to check your luggage and receive your boarding pass at Makkasan Station. This convenience will certainly make using the Rail Link more attractive to passengers on those 2 airlines.
One group that has been using the Airport link is local Bangkok commuters, who find the convenience of the city line portion of the rail link to be a great relief from the Bangkok traffic. Also, many of the workers at Suvarnabhumi have been using the rail link to get to and from work. Likely this group contributed to the best day so far for the Rail Link which was 47,000 passengers.
Going forward the State Railway of Thailand expects to generate 1 million baht per day of revenue from the Rail Line. Considering that the Rail Line was reported to cost 30 billion baht to build it will take just 30,000 days or a bit over 82 years to break even without taking into account the costs for running and maintaining the line.