For all those that object to criticising Thailand, explain this! I no longer use the BTS for a number of reasons, but this lack of lifts is one of the main ones. There is one lift at On Nut that caught fire about a year ago. The thing was
barricaded off after the first and is STILL barricaded off!
BMA agrees to instal more disability lifts
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... lity-lifts
City Hall is set to invest 256 million baht to add 19 lifts for the disabled at 16 BTS Green Line stations, following pressure from disabled rights activists.
A construction timetable is not yet finalised because there is no official budget approval from the Bangkok Metropolitan Council, deputy Bangkok governor Jakkapan Phiewngam, told the media after an inspection at BTS Chong Nonsi station on Friday.
The BTS system is operated by a private concessionaire. Yet, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is needed to finance the disabled-friendly lifts.
The original contract for building the BTS system was signed over two decades ago and did not require the private concessionaire to provide lifts for the disabled.
BMA's latest surveys indicated that a total of 136 disabled-friendly lifts are needed on the main Sukhumvit Line and Silom Line's collective 34 stations, meaning there must be four such lifts per station. However, there are only 107 lifts at present.
"Once the funds have been allocated, it will take a maximum of 210 days to construct the lifts," Mr Jakkapan said.
Apart from these 19 elevators, the BMA is going to add 10 more general-purpose lifts at five stations to handle more passengers. Among them are Saphan Taksin station, which is near Sathon Pier, and Sala Daeng station, located over the Silom subway station. These stations already have elevators for general use.
The move to upgrade facilities for disabled commuters came after an Administrative Court ruling in January 2015.
The ruling required the BMA and the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) to provide disabled-friendly adjustments to the Sukhumvit Line's 23 stations and its trains within one year from the ruling. Over three years later, the adjustments are still incomplete.
The delay has upset disabled groups. Earlier this month, disabled rights activist groups filed 430 individual complaints to the Administrative Court demanding compensation for individual commuters. They seek compensation of 1,000 baht per day for the BMA's failure to honour the ruling.
Representatives from the rights groups said the compensation counts for taxi fares or other methods disabled individuals had to use to travel because they could not use the skytrain network efficiently.
The financial compensation is counted from the day after the original court ruling's deadline, in 2016. If the complaints are granted by the court, City Hall could be looking at a collective fine exceeding 380 million baht.
The idea for compensation was prompted after disabled rights activists filed a collective complaint with the Civil Court in 2016, after the BMA's deadline was not met, according to Teerayud Sukonthavit, president of the Disabilities Thailand Council.
The case was dismissed a year later after the court ruled that the case was "out of their jurisdiction". After discussions within the activist group community, many decided to file individual cases at the Central Administrative Court, Mr Teerayud added.
Manit Intharapim, the director of the Accessibility is Freedom organisation, told the Bangkok Post yesterday that the BMA's announcement to build the new lifts was "questionable".
Wheelchair-bound, Mr Manit, had punched and broke a glass elevator door at BTS Asoke station in March after losing his temper. The BTSC did not press charges against him.
"City Hall has thus far been using the law in their favour, and this has led to us having to continue to seek legal action against them like this," he said.
Mr Manit questioned why the BMA suddenly started the plan to construct lifts for the disabled after several years of inactivity.
Since the 2015 court ruling, only Mo Chit, Siam and Asok stations have honoured the ruling. These stations have disabled-friendly lifts on both sides.
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