About 1,000 Bangkok cabbies’ dream of dropping their meters and collecting a monthly payment THB12,000 (US$400) from customers who joined a planned new service has been shut down by the Ministry of Transport — it’s apparently not legal

Transport Deputy Director-General Kamol Buranapong said yesterday that all taxis are required by law to use their meters and that a flat monthly rate is out of the question, according to Channel 3 News.

The comment came after Worapol Kaemkhun, president of the Professional Association of Public Taxis, announced a plan to work with investors in launching a monthly taxi membership service under the name My Taxi, in which customers pay THB12,000 per month for unlimited rides within Bangkok, Matichon reported.


But that’s not all, members would also get six bottles of juice upon signing up, he said Wednesday.

Worapol said about 1,000 taxi drivers in his association had shown interest in the project, which would allow customers to book their rides via an application a la Uber.

Meters in Bangkok currently start at THB35, and a 30-minute trip typically costs THB250 tops. For the math fans out there, there would mean taking 48 cab trips in a month to break even on the THB12,000 fee.

Worapol said that drivers participating in the project are expected to get paid THB1,500 to THB2,000 for a 12-hour shift, and would be free to earn metered fares outside of those hours.

One question yet unaddressed is the impact that taking taxis out of the larger pool might have on the city’s overall taxi situation, which is routinely plagued by complaints of driver’s refusing to accept fares.

Kamol said that if Worapol would like to proceed with the flat-rate concept, his vehicles used for this monthly subscription must be registered under a green license plate — the type used for rental services. In other words, they’d no longer be taxis.

Source : Coconuts


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