Smart thinking motorcycle taxis cash in with Wi-Fi

Smart thinking motorcycle taxis cash in with Wi-Fi

(Left) Motorcycle taxi drivers at Land Transport Department (Bangkok Post file photo). (Right) A sign at the Soi Bearing queue offers free internet access to customers. (Photo from Facebook of Pisit Tangkoblarp)
(Left) Motorcycle taxi drivers at Land Transport Department (Bangkok Post file photo). (Right) A sign at the Soi Bearing queue offers free internet access to customers. (Photo from Facebook of Pisit Tangkoblarp)

A motorcycle taxi queue at the mouth of Soi Bearing, or Sukhumvit Soi 107, has won praise for its business nous after customers went on social media to thank the operators for installing free high-speed Wi-Fi, the first for a taxi rank in Bangkok.

The busy rank, which is near Bearing BTS Skytrain Station and services Soi Bearing and Soi La Salle (Soi 105), has also opened a Facebook page to provide a food-delivery service late at night.  

The rank, which sees a long queue of customers at peak times, recently offered the free Wi-Fi with download/upload speed at 200/50 megabits per second. But it became known to the broader public over the weekend after a commuter, Pisit Tangkoblarp, posted a photo on his Facebook page of a “Dear customers” notice board at the queue that displayed the Wi-Fi user name and password information. It was then shared over the social network.

The rank operators said commuters often had to wait for a long time for a taxi during evening rush hours when traffic was very heavy in the area. The sign apologised for the inconvenience and so operators wanted to give free internet access to their customers. 

It also invited customers to follow its Facebook page -- เรารักแบริ่ง - Welovebearring107 -- so that they can make an online request for a pickup or ask an operator to buy food and deliver it for them at night. 

Netizens have praised the queue for raising the bar of motorcycle taxi services and lightheartedly likened it to the government's Thailand 4.0 economic model as “Motorcycle queue 4.0”.  

“They should have told their peers in Soi 105 too. There I had to wait for so long, as the end of the line was on Mars,” Facebook user Orawan Tuggy joked. 

Another user Foofoo Sovana said he was impressed by the queue’s excellent marketing tactics while Valerie Mackenziny wrote, “This is the real deal on startup business”. 

Ronnakorn Tonrub, 37, one of the queue operators, told Thairath that not everyone can have access to the internet even in today’s digital age. “Some people may not have put money into their phone [to access the internet].” 

Mr Ronnakorn said the queue’s late-night online service would be useful for those living in the soi and did not have vehicles. 

“For example, a woman living alone at a condominium who is sick and needs medicine. Or anyone feeling hungry in the middle of the night,” he explained.     

“We want to help make the Bearing area a good place to live in.”



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