High fares for taxis, subway approved

Under pressure from drivers complaining of rising costs, the Transport Ministry has given a green light to increasing taxi fares.

In a session that also saw approval for higher subway prices, the ministry approved the first raise for taxi drivers in 22 years, which is expected to increase fares between 8 to 11 percent to offset the higher costs of living and energy prices.

“It’s been around 22 years since the taxi fare was adjusted,” Minister Prajin Juntong said Saturday. “The new fare will be considered based on the costs of living and the drivers’ net cost in order to help them earn more than a THB300 daily-profit.

For subway strap-hangers, a ticket to ride will increase by THB1 or 2 starting Jan. 1. Normally a biannually scheduled bump, a fare increase for the MRT subway system had been postponed earlier this year for the sake of “returning happiness” by the junta. So be sure to top off that coin jar before New Year’s Day.

Taxi fares will be going up in sooner as the ministry said it will implement the new structure some time next month. At flag fall, fares will continue to start at THB35, but the per-kilometer and sitting-in-traffic-going-nowhere rates will be increased.

Meanwhile, Prajin said something will be expected in return.

“Meanwhile, the drivers must also improve their service to follow the standards,” he said.

Taxis must pass quality standards, according to Prajin. For example, drivers must ensure their cars do not smell, be in good condition with working air-conditioning, and finally, drivers must maintain polite service.

Photo: Christian Haugen


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