Almost 10,000 Bangkok taxis have reportedly adjusted their meters to match recent rate hikes. The Department of Land Transport (DLT) made the announcement, saying that since Monday, January 16, taxis have been visiting the Krung Thep Aphiewat Central Terminal to have their metres adjusted.
The taxi’s base fares have risen from 35 to 40 baht with drivers being required to bring in their taxis, by the end of next month, to have a meter adjustment. They are also required to show their vehicle registration book to obtain the service which costs between 300 to 350 baht per vehicle.
The DLT has teamed up with Powermatic Co. Ltd, Sun Thai Meter Co Ltd, GPS Thai Star Co Ltd and THT Progress Co Ltd. manufacturers to perform the meter adjustments.
Taxis whose meters were installed by manufacturers other than those partnering with the DLT, can continue to use their respective companies. But, those meters’ adjustments must be inspected by the DLT after completion.
Of the 10,000 taxis that were reported to have already made meter adjustments, the DLT says 995 taxis used other manufacturers to carry out the meter adjustments.
The increased fare went into effect on January 16, and it applies to Bangkok-registered taxis with no more than seven seats.
However, passengers may not notice a rise in fares straight away as taxis can have their meters adjusted at Bang Sue Station from now until February 28, according to the Ministry of Transport.
For taxis stuck in Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams (moving at less than 6km/h), fares will be capped at 3 baht per minute – a rise from the previous traffic jam surcharge of 1.25 baht per minute.
Taxis will charge 6.5 baht/km from the second to 10th kilometre, 7 baht/km from the 11th to 20th, 8 baht/km from the 21st to the 40th and 8.5 baht/km from the 41st to 60th.
Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport taxis will charge an extra 50 baht as usual.
More than 80,000 taxi drivers in Bangkok and five surrounding provinces will benefit from the rise in base fares, something taxi drivers have been lobbying for a long time.
The new rates are based on a study by the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), according to the director-general of the Department of Land Transport Jirut Wisanjit.
However, the increase has not met the rates demanded by the various taxi associations, said Jirut.
Taxi associations wanted the minimum fare to be set at 45 – 50 baht and the taxi surcharge to be 5 baht per minute.
In December, a passenger in a Bangkok cab recorded a video of a taxi meter rising suspiciously quickly.
The passenger said they got in the taxi at Don Mueang Airport and the meter had already risen to 347 baht by the time they were approaching the Din Daeng Expressway.
When the female taxi driver saw the passenger filming the meter, she suddenly turned it off, despite having a while to go until they reached their destination, said the passenger.