MRT and BEM asked to restore seats in Blue Line carriages or face legal action

The Thai Constitution Protection Association has demanded the Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRT) and Bangkok Expressway and Metro Pcl (BEM), the concessionaire of the Blue Line subway, to restore seats removed from some carriages in order to accommodate more passengers.

Failing to heed its demand, the association threatened to take the case to the court of law.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the TCPA said that the removal of seats from one of the carriages of the Blue Line shuttling between Tao Poon and Hua Lamphong, starting on Monday, reportedly to create more standing space for passengers amounted to taking advantage of the consumers.

The association said that BEM and MRT should have acquired more carriages to meet the demand of consumers instead of conspiring to pass the burden on the consumers so that BEM, the operator of the Blue Line, would earn more revenue on the suffering of the passengers, especially the elderly, children and, the sick and pregnant women.

The association claimed that subway operators in other countries such as Japan, the US and Britian did not take advantage of the passengers for their own interests.

It also noted that the removal of seats from carriages to make more standing space went against Sections 25, 46 and 61 of the Constitution and Consumers Protection Act B.E. 2522.

The removal of seats, altogether 14 seats from a carriage, has received mix reactions from commuters, with both supporters and opponents of the move.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)