Monday, November 20, 2006

BTS a major culprit in noise pollution

The BTS is the local elevated rail system, also known as the 'skytrain'. The noise it generates is not the sound of trains on tracks but all the advertising announcements.

from letters section of The Nation:

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the editorial on "Tackling the problem of noise" (Bangkok Post, Nov 18). You rightly identify BTS as a socially irresponsible corporation.

Recently, in addition to their screens and loudspeakers positioned at the top of the stairs, BTS has installed loudspeakers at regular intervals along the platforms. Consequently, passengers who could previously avoid the ear-splitting noise of the advertisements are now terrorised by it wherever they wait for the train.

Moreover, BTS has not turned down the volume of its video advertisements on the trains, as you suggest. Quite the contrary. Even if you give up your seat and stand in the corners next to the doors, you will still need earplugs. At Mor Chit, while waiting for the train, you are bombarded by BTS-generated intrusive commercials, and while you are on the train waiting for it to leave, you get all the noise both from the platform and from the on-train video.

It has become unbearable. I think that only sick minds can come up with this sort of excessively intrusive and asocial advertisement strategy.

Bangkok's governor must keep in mind that he has promised us a "livable" Bangkok, and that BTS is public space operated by a private company. If people at BTS cannot control their greed, then Governor Aphirak must intervene with a regulation.

If nothing else helps, we might have to turn to this military government that has adopted "sufficiency economy" as a major approach to regulating economic activities. BTS clearly is still caught in the Thaksin-era of boundless greed for profit, and its concomitant asocial behaviour, including contempt for its passengers.

Maybe, thinking about their actions from this perspective will help people at BTS to come to their senses and become a good corporate citizen.

I don't hold my breath, though.