BMA confirms smart taxi stand demise

BMA confirms smart taxi stand demise

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has scrapped all 150 so-called smart taxi stands and plans to turn ones along BTS skytrain lines into parking areas for motorcycles, its Traffic and Transport Department director, Phanurak Klannurak, said.

He was speaking after netizens posted photos of several stands and questioned why they have not yet been removed.

Mr Phanurak said some of the stands along BTS lines that do not hinder traffic flow will become motorcycle parking areas.

The BMA has asked the Metropolitan Police Bureau to amend traffic regulations to accommodate the change, Mr Phanurak said.

The smart taxi project was initiated in 2005 by former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin as part of efforts to ease traffic problems in the capital, but the initiative has been criticised as ineffective.

The stainless-steel structures look like bus stops. Passengers called a taxi by simply pressing a button to alert a control centre where dispatchers sent a cab to the stand.

The idea, however, did not go according to plan as sites were occupied by other vehicles, and partly because Thais prefer to hail a cab rather than call one by pressing a button.

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