Will Thailand’s Taxi Service Improve After The Imminent Crackdown?

The service provided by Thailand’s taxi drivers has once again come under scrutiny after a recent slew of passenger complaints.

The National Police chief, Pol Gen Jakthip Chaijinda, has met with officials from the Department of Land Transport and other associated agencies in order to discuss potential solutions and work-arounds to improve the taxi service across the Kingdom, reports the National News Bureau of Thailand.

Resolutions made include:

  • Enforcing traffic laws more stringently
  • Setting up a taxi driver database listing any law violations
  • Revoking the licences of taxi drivers convicted of ‘inappropriate behaviours’
  • Providing clear information to tourists on how to navigate the Thai taxi service

Evaluations to determine progress will be made monthly, starting from March. These ideas will initially be piloted at major tourism hubs – namely Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in Bangkok, as well as Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui.

Pol Gen Jakthip emphasised the need for taxi drivers to cooperate and to send the message that Thailand is a good host to foreign visitors and tourists.

This meeting comes in the wake of recent good news for Bangkok’s taxi drivers, who were celebrating a low passenger complaint rate in the taxis serving Suvarnabhumi airport during 2015.

Over 5,000 taxis were registered to serve Suvarnabhumi during 2015 and it is estimated that they made over 3 million journeys with incoming passengers. The Bangkok Post reports that the complaint rate for these journeys averaged just 2 a day – around 0.024 percent.

Weerasak Kowsurat, chairman of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, also said that ‘good news stories’ – like a taxi driver returning left-behind possessions back to passengers – were a regular occurrence, numbering between 11 to 26 cases every month.

It seems as though Thailand’s taxi industry could look to emulate the service provided by the drivers serving Suvarnabhumi, if these statistics are anything to go by.