Taxi drivers refusing fares for being too short, too long, or simply just not in the direction of where they want to go is one of Bangkok’s most frustrating regularities.
According to new data from the Department of Land Transport, this issue is particularly prevalent in the Ratchaprasong area in Chit Lom.
“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,” said director general of Land Transport, Sanit Promwong, on the number of complaints they had received from passengers.
According to the Bangkok Post, the period from October to December 2015 saw 26 taxi drivers have their licences suspended; 19 of which were due to turning down fares. The remaining seven were for being rude, refusing to use the meter and not taking passengers all the way to their desired locations.
Refusing service to would-be passengers is one of the primary reasons that taxi drivers have not yet received their much anticipated five percent fare rise.
Former transport minister ACM Prajin Juntong proposed an overall increase of 13 percent to taxi fares, which was split into two phases: an initial eight percent rise was granted in December 2014 and the remaining five percent was promised to be introduced upon measurable improvements in the service.
Airport surcharges in the city were also planned to increase from ฿50 to ฿75 for normal sized taxis and to ฿95 for large ones.
It was suggested that improvements be measured by passenger interviews and that if 70 percent of those interviewed were happy with the taxi service, the new rate would take effect.
Despite achieving a 71 percent approval rating in a survey last month, taxi drivers were still denied their raise due to the high number of taxi-related complaints made through social media. The Department thus questioned the reliability of the sample size surveyed.
It’s expected that the proposed rate increases will be pushed through later this year, regardless.
Featured image is by torbus and used under a Creative Commons licence