Bangkok Says More BTS Lifts Coming, Maybe by Next Year

Photo: Michael Coghlan / Flickr
Photo: Michael Coghlan / Flickr

BANGKOK — City Hall said Monday it expects to find a contractor by the end of next month to build 19 additional, court-ordered elevators for the BTS Skytrain.

Eight months after funds were committed to the work, the city transport director said the elevators would be built at 16 stations to make the rail system accessible to disabled commuters. Panurak Klannurak said plan excludes five downtown stations where elevators can’t be built due to “infrastructure limitations.”

The department said bids for the work must be in by Wednesday with a contractor to be chosen by the end of March. Construction will take about 300 days, Panurak added.

Read: BTS Fails to Keep Accessibility Promises for 4th Year

It’s the latest in a series of promises from City Hall has made since disability activists won a landmark legal victory in 2015, in which the popular rail network owned by the city was given one year to become fully accessible.

According to Panurak, 10 more elevators needed at BTS Saphan Taksin, Sala Daeng, Chit Lom, Phloen Chit and Asok can’t be built due to constraints such as very narrow sidewalks at BTS Chit Lom and the structure of BTS Saphan Taksin.

“There are infrastructure limitations. It’s impossible to build [elevators there],” he said. “We’re considering further strategies moving forward.”