Ratchaprasong remains 'top venue' for refusing cabbies
published : 18 Jan 2016 at 20:38
writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook
The Department of Land Transport on Monday said it had fined a total of 1,001 taxi drivers across Bangkok for violating regulations last month and Ratchaprasong area remained the most notorious spot for taxi drivers refusing passengers.
The figure jumped from 163 a month on average between March and November last year when 1,300 drivers were caught breaching regulations, 205 of whom for refusing passengers in the Ratchaprasong area.
“In all, 294 drivers were found to have refused to take passengers to their destinations in December and almost all of them, or 277, turned down the rides in the Ratchaprasong area,” Land Transport director-general Sanit Promwong said.
While the department did not reveal the reasons for the refusal, commuters noted heavy traffic during rush hours might be one of them. As well, some drivers preferred to serve only foreigners in the area or passengers on lucrative long rides.
Mr Sanit said in December 271 others failed to bring their vehicles for inspection during the required period and 195 used unregistered cars or did not pay vehicle tax. The rest involved other minor violations.
He said from October to December last year, 26 six cabbies had their licences suspended for seven days, 19 of whom for denying service to commuters and the rest for showing rude behaviour, not using meters, and failing to drop customers at desired places.
The department revoked the licences of two cabbies in the group after records showed they had been fined previously for refusing passengers.
The Transport Ministry last year twice denied taxi drivers’s requests for a 5% meter rate hike and an increase in airport surcharge rates from flat rate of 50 baht to 75 for standard-sized cabs and 95 for larger-sized taxis.
It said 71% of Bangkokians were satisfied with service, but a flood of complaints continued. However, the proposed increases are expected to be approved later this year, according to a source at the agency.