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Cabs, vans to be reorganised at Victory Monument

Traffic police will also ensure that picking up of passengers does not create traffic jams in the area.

FROM MONDAY onwards, public-transport vans and taxis will no longer be allowed to wait for customers at the Bangkok Victory Monument traffic circle and vans will only be allowed to wait under the Makkasan Airport Link Station.

Traffic police will coordinate with the vans to ensure they do not congest traffic when picking up passengers, according to a conclusion drawn yesterday at a meeting on the implementation of the National Council for Peace and Order's policy to discipline public-transport operators in the area.

Colonel Chalermpol Srisawat, deputy chief of the King's Guard, 2nd Cavalry Division, said the measures would be implemented in three phases. He was presiding over the two-hour meeting with police and 20 representatives of van operators.

The first five-day phase, starting on Monday, will focus on getting the vans to pick up passengers in the Airport Link station area and other public spaces. It will also ensure that passengers are charged a fair fare, that ticket-selling booths do not block traffic, and that no cabs or vans stop to wait for passengers at the traffic circle.



Motorbike taxis discussed

The second phase, which does not have a definite time frame yet, will focus on creating permanent pit stops and the registration of public-transport vans, which would also help prevent conflicts over routes.

The third phase will see the amendment of relevant laws, and licence plates that can be checked will be considered for public-transport vans.

In related news, city police and Army representatives also met to follow up on the re-ordering of Bangkok motorcycle-taxi stands. Previously, the authorities had set up guidelines to tackle this issue by requiring that stands be clearly set up, with fares clearly listed, and then getting law enforcers to check whether the stands in all 50 districts had been authorised by the Land Transport Department.

Maj-General Apirat Khongsompong, commander of the Army's 1st Division, said the teams would also ensure the stands do not block traffic or are in the way of pedestrians. They will also be asked to decide the timings of the motorcycle-taxi services. Then under the third phase, all these stands will have to be properly registered, he said, adding that these three phases should materialise within a week.

A source who was at the meeting said the issue of taxi motorcyclists, public-transport vans and taxis having to pay "protection fees" to influential figures was also discussed. Initial inquiries by an Army working team showed that this problem was passed on to passengers, who had to pay higher fares because cabbies needed to cover the "protection fees".

The police and Army also asked the Land Transport Department to issue a document listing the number of motorbike taxis and post it at each stand, as well as set up a "one-stop service" centre to accommodate the application for permits.




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