The Central Administrative Court on Monday dismissed a passenger van operators' request for an immediate injunction, which would have allowed them to continue using their 10-year-old vehicles.
The court ruled that the matter of the old passenger vans was not an urgent case and it would continue with its normal process of consideration of the operators' original request for an injunction, filed in April, against the Transport Department's safety regulation.
Van operators on Friday last week petitioned the court for an immediate injunction because 584 passenger vans were due to be withdrawn from service on Monday, having reached their 10-year age limit.
Activist Srisuwan Janya led about 100 passenger van operators to the court to hear the decision. In their request filed on April 3, they asked the court to extend the limit from 10 to 15 years.
The 10-year service limit was introduced in 2010 in the interests of public safety. Of about 4,000 passenger vans operating in Bangkok, 954 must be withdrawn from service this year.
Of the 584 vans forced to end services on Monday, about 260 were centred at the Victory Monument. Many commuters there said they had to wait longer for a van on Monday.
However, transport authorities said the demand at Victory Monument was usually higher on Mondays due to workers arriving back from other provinces after the weekend, and substitute buses could serve all commuters.