The Thai Public Taxi Association yesterday demanded both hikes in the metered fare and surcharge for picking up passengers from the two Bangkok airports, as well as permission to collect fees for travelers with extra baggage.
Sadit Jaitiang, the association’s president, submitted those demands to the Ministry of Transport yesterday, once again raising the argument that the increased price of gas justifies higher taxi fares and service fees.
In addition to 5 percent increase in metered fares, the group is asking officials to up the airport surcharge from THB50 to THB75 for regular cabs and THB95 for vans.
Sadit said that since many passengers travel with 4-6 suitcases, they’ll allow only two free bags and collect a THB10 fee for the third bag. The fourth bag — and the rest — will cost THB30 each.
How precisely the number of bags affects their work and what they should be able to charge was never clarified.
Sadit told Thairath that an average taxi driver needs to clear about THB2,000 a day to survive, since their daily rent is about THB750 and the gas costs about THB550. The driver representative said that figure would be more realistically obtainable if the requested increases were pushed through, leaving drivers a baseline profit of about THB700.
But make no mistake, THB2,000 is not big money.
The president of another taxi network, Woraphol Gaemkhuntod, told Coconuts in an interview earlier this year that some of the drivers in his network make about THB3,000 per month. For comparison, the basic salary of a full-time shop employee would be about THB9,000.
However, the notorious reputation of taxi drivers, from overcharging, detouring, and reject passengers, has made it tough to garner much public sympathy to date.
In yesterday’s petition, Sadit claimed that taxi drivers are no longer rejecting passengers these days, reported Khaosod.
Take a look back at some of the stories on taxi drivers in the past years — the good and the bad: