Living a life of disability is never easy and it is harder when they are faced with challenges they have no control over such as no access to wheelchair ramp or elevator. This the why the operator of the skytrain in Bangkok, the Bangkok Mass Transit System, announced its plan to improve its facilities in order to make it easier for disabled passengers to use the system. This is good news for locals and tourists staying in hotel near Skytrain who are suffering from disabilities.
The announcement came after a rage attack made by a rights activist who is using a wheelchair to get around. The activist broke the elevator door inside the Asoke BTS station.
According to the Skytrain’s advisory board’s chairman, Anat Arbhabirama, the activist is named Mr. Manit Intharapim. He did not want to sign the form which is needed in order for him to access the elevator. The form signing is required and a normal procedure within the BTS.
The passenger got angry and decided to punch the elevator door made of glass which broke after impact.
Mr. Manit, known to be the Accessibility is Freedom’s director, admitted that he lost his temper and broke the elevator’s door in the process. It was because he was required to sign a form which confirmed his disabilities before he can access the elevator for free. After refusing to sign the form, he bought a ticket but still he is not allowed to use the lift. They locked the door so he could not use it.
Mr. Anat clarified that they regret what happened therefore they will make it easier for disabled passengers to access the services within the stations. Mr. Manit did not receive any action from the BTS.
The stations currently have two kinds of elevators – for physically disabled passengers and for regular passengers. There is a process before the disabled passengers can use the elevators which require signing a form. The firm said that they are going to reassess the process and hold a discussion to hear more about the complaints and recommendations from the passengers. Tourists using wheelchair staying at a hotel near Skytrain will have to follow the process for the meantime.