Should regular taxis be allowed to hike the fare?
I approve the suggestion for a Bt5 rise in the minimum taxi fare and a surcharge for traffic delays, as proposed by the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), which found that taxi drivers barely earn the minimum wage.
However, perhaps passengers are avoiding regular taxis, resulting in low income. Ride-hailing service Grab is doing well enough to turn a profit, both collectively and at the individual driver level, and All-Thai Taxis has 500 cars giving far superior service than their regular equivalents while adhering to the same fare schedule.
The TDRI’s Sumet Ongkittikul said that any fare increase must also come with better regulation and severe penalties for unscrupulous drivers – but given the Land Transport Department’s underwhelming performance to date, I see no hope for that.
I suggest that taxis be allowed to increase their fares only when they reach the standards now followed by All-Thai Taxi and/or Grab: GPS tracking, app-based hailing, 360-degree VDO camera always on, all cars with working rear seatbelts; and driver ratings posted for the benefit of would-be passengers.