Siam Paragon names and shames bad taxis
The unprofessionality of Bangkok’s taxi drivers is notorious internationally.
Now a Bangkok shopping centre has teamed with the Department of Land Transport to name and shame bad drivers, in the hope they’ll reform or find fares elsewhere.
Most residents of, or visitors to, Bangkok relying on taxis to transport them home or to their hotel after a day’s retail therapy have endured frustrating delays due to taxi drivers illegally refusing fares.
Despite fines and threats of being reported to the hotline – itself overloaded, such is the extent of the problem – drivers try to pick and choose passengers which give them the best profits, leaving others stranded on the pavement.
DLT has fined 31 of 54 drivers caught refusing fares at the Siam Paragon taxi rank and is hunting down a further 23, according to website Thai Rath Online.
Meanwhile, the drivers’ taxi registration numbers, taxi co-ops and rental agents have been listed on a sign at the rank so potential passengers are warned, according to DLT director-general Teerapong Rodprasert. The drivers’ names were not listed because drivers often share cars.
In a crackdown at the rank, DLT officials suspended the licences of two drivers for seven days because it was their second offence.
Last week, Thai police conducted a blitz on Sukhumvit Rd, catching 34 drivers who refused fares late one night.
Both locals and tourists report an epidemic of Thai taxi drivers refusing fares or refusing to use the meter and setting flat fees for hires, both illegal.
A 24 hour hotline – 1584 – allows passengers to lodge complaints, by providing the taxi’s or driver’s registration numbers. There is also a free DLT Check smartphone app available.