Court orders Bangkok’s skytrain to build facility for disabilities

The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday ruled that facility for physically challenged people must be built in the Bangkok’s skytrain ‘BTS’ system. 
The ruling, which overturned the verdict of the Central Administrative Court in 2009, beautifully ends the 20-year fight of the Thai people with disabilities in Thailand for transportation equity on the Bangkok’s popular mass public transportation.  
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BMTS), the operator of the BTS Skytrain.were accused of discrimination against the physically challenged people for not providing paratransits. 
The court ruled that lifts must be available at all BTS stations and special spots for parking the wheelchairs must be available on each train. The installations must be done within one year, the court added.  
The court however did not state that lifts must be available at every exit as the network of the physically challenged urged. 
The Interior Ministry’s ministerial regulation, issued on 2005, stipulated that transportation services, hospitals, department stores must provide paratransits, including lifts, for people with disabilities and elderly.
The Administrative Court in 2009 dismissed the case on the ground that the construction contract of the BTS was signed in 1996, which was before the regulation was enacted. The law must not have retrospective effect. The case, therefore, was dismissed.
Group of people with physical challenges carry a person on wheelchair up the ladders of the BTS's National Stadium station to raise awareness on transportation equity on Monday.

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