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Taxi operators to meet military

The 11th Military Circle has invited taxi operators in Bangkok to a meeting next week in a bid to reform the taxi system.

Maj-General Nirundorn Samut-sakhon, the Circle's commander, said yesterday that he will host the meeting at the body's compound on Tuesday in order to learn about the problems that taxi operators and drivers face.

The information obtained will be used to reform public transport, he said.

Nirundorn was speaking after a meeting with Transport Company president Wutthichart Kallayanamitr.

They spoke about establishing a taxi service at Mor Chit Northern Bus Terminal. The company has already regulated the service, but many taxi drivers still do not follow the rules.

The military junta has assigned the armed forces to help put many issues in order including public transport.

Nirundorn said he did not agree with a call to adjust the starting price for metered taxis. He said that though he understood the taxi drivers' hardship, raising the fare would also affect the general public.

He said he had learnt that taxi drivers lost a lot of money during the anti-government protests due to blocked roads, but noted that the situation had returned to normal.

Many people have complained that taxi drivers preferred foreigners to Thais. Also some overcharged passengers or demanded extra.

He went on to say that in order to be fair to all parties, the National Council for Peace and Order will be asked to consider measures to help ease taxi drivers' hardship by waiving parking fees in places like the Mor Chit Bus terminal.


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