Three years ago, the courts mandated the City Hall to equip every station in the BTS Skytrain with elevators. Up to this day, BTS Skytrain is still not easy for persons with disabilities to access. A year ago, the administration received a class-action suit with its result still uncertain. There is good news for employees working at an office space at Asoke because it is one of the five stations where elevators are available.
The court ruling was made in 2015 while the lawsuit was received in 2017. Despite the years that have passed, there are still many stations without operational lifts. Majority of the elevators that connects to the ground level can only be accessed on one part of the street.
One of the commuters who is using a wheelchair to get around, ManitIntharapim, said that new shopping malls are constructed along the BTS stations which takes years to construct but the government cannot prioritize building elevators first.
Manit is a member of Transportation for All, an advocacy group, and together with other persons of disabilities, they went to the Civil Court the previous year. They filed a class suit intended for theBMA or Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. That was the very first kind of class-action lawsuit in the country.
City Hall lawyers contested the lawsuit for the reason of administrative grounds. The case is still waiting to be catered in a venue.
ThanoochaiHoonniwat, the top official of BMA designated in traffic and transportation, said that the organization is working to make sure that all stations will be installed with lifts.
He explained that they are not after winning or losing but it is their responsibility to make sure that disabled commuters have accessibility as well as comfort. He added that for this year they are allotting around 100 million baht in order to be used to install the elevators as ordered by the Supreme Administrative Court in 2015.
As of writing, there are 18 stations that do not have full access. They are hoping that within this year everyone will have the same comfort as those going in an office space at Asoke, On Nut, Siam, Chong Nonsi and Mo Chit among other stations with lift.