Flat rate monthly taxi fare plan for unlimited trips

Flat rate monthly taxi fare plan for unlimited trips

A man carrying a child tries to get a taxi in the rain in Bangkok. A new monthly flat rate service claims it will end the problem of cabbies rejecting fares. (File photo)
A man carrying a child tries to get a taxi in the rain in Bangkok. A new monthly flat rate service claims it will end the problem of cabbies rejecting fares. (File photo)

A new taxi service with a flat monthly charge of up to 12,000 baht for unlimited trips will be launched in Bangkok next year in response to delays in official fare increases.

Worapol Kaemkhunthod, president of the Professional Association of Public Taxi Motorists, said commuters who sign up would pay between 6,500 and 12,000 baht a month for unlimited trips in greater Bangkok. He did not explain how the rate would be decided.

It was planned so that participating taxi drivers would not have to wait for the Transport Ministry to approve another fare hike, he said.

Participating drivers would have to pass training in provision of service, safety and manners, and would be paid 1,500-2,000 baht daily to be on duty for 12 hours. They could earn extra with metered fares out of the contracted service hours, he said.

Commuters would be saved the cost of hiring private chauffeurs and the difficulty of finding parking space at shopping centres, he said.

The scheme would also help solve the problem of passengers being rejected by cabbies on the streets.

About 1,000 taxis initially planned to join the new service and the association was tentatively running it with about 2,500 commuters who had registered their participation through a Line chat application, Mr Worapol said.

Asked if the service would violate the regulation requiring taxis to use fare meters, he said drivers would still use the meters, but would not receive fare payment directly from their passengers.

Late last month the Land Transport Department said it would seek ministerial approval for an 8% fare increase, but only for cabs participating in its Taxi OK system.

The department said 12,986 of the 80,647 cabs in the Bangkok area were registered with Taxi OK, which mandates drivers and their vehicles pass additional, above-standard tests for roadworthiness, safety and service.


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