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Transport Ministry succumbs to increase in luggage charges for airport taxis

Maya Taylor

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Transport Ministry succumbs to increase in luggage charges for airport taxis | The Thaiger
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Items of luggage that measure 26 inches (66 centimetres) or more in length will now incur a taxi ‘handling fee’ of an additional 20 baht in an agreement reached between airport taxi drivers and the Transport Ministry.

It’s understood the Ministry approved the increase after caving in to a protest by taxi drivers on Thursday. Over 100 members of the Thai Public Taxi Association and the Task Force for Organising Service Vehicles at Suvarnabhumi Airport created a blockade at the entrance to the Transport Ministry in protest at the government’s refusal to acknowledge their requests for an increase in fares and other charges.

Following successful talks with Ministry representatives, the blockade was cleared just after 3.30pm.

In a statement, the president of the Thai Public Taxi Association, Pallop Chayinthu, says that under the agreement, drivers will accept two pieces of luggage for free and only additional items measuring more than 26 inches will incur the 20 baht surcharge.

“The Transport Ministry has agreed to the hike in the luggage handling fee to 20 baht per piece of luggage 26 inches in length or larger, though the first two pieces would be handled for free. In line with our request to increase the airport surcharge rates from 50 baht to 70 baht for normal-size taxis, and from 70 baht to 90 baht for larger taxis, the Ministry asked us to postpone the hike until the economy improves, fearing that it would create a burden for clients, and we are happy to comply.

“Our last request is to extend the mandatory service life of a taxi from 9 years to 12 years to let owners of older taxis continue using their vehicles. The Department of Land Transport told us that they had already submitted an appeal to the Council of State and are awaiting a response. However, Minister Saksayam Chidchob promised that we should hear the result by November 29.”

The concession to the well-organised taxi associations is the first of several showdowns coming up, mainly over the legalisation of ride-sharing apps (like Grab Car), which are currently under consideration by Cabinet.

The Transport Minister is said to be supportive of legalising the ride-sharing apps to increase competition in public transport.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

BTS Skytrain’s Green Line maximum fare to rise, Rail Transport Department disagrees with the move

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BTS Skytrain’s Green Line maximum fare to rise, Rail Transport Department disagrees with the move | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

After the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration agreed to raise the maximum fare on the BTS Skytrain’s Green Line from 59 baht to 158 baht, the Rail Transport Department is calling on city officials to suspend the maximum fare ceiling, saying it would put an unfair burden on passengers.

Bangkok Governor Aswin announced earlier that the maximum fare of 158 baht is to be imposed on February 16, but a discount to 104 baht is offered during the Covid-19 outbreak. The City Hall needs to increase the fare rate because it can’t pay the debt to Bangkok Mass Transit System.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob says the BMA should halt its policy on the new BTS maximum fare and wait for other authorities to find proper solutions.

The Chairman of a House committee on transport, Sophon Sarum, a former transport minister, dismisses the BMA’s claim of its financial inability to repay the Green Line’s loans while suggesting the BMA to manage the Green Line’s finances by raising funds from banks and other financial institutions.

The Rail Department and BMA will meet to discuss the maximum fare ceiling this week.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Coconuts Bangkok

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Thailand

High demand for health insurance due to Covid-19 worries, premiums expected to rise

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High demand for health insurance due to Covid-19 worries, premiums expected to rise | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Daily Targum

With the increasing demands for health insurance due to people’s worries over Covid-19, health insurance premiums are expected to grow 1.59% this year, according to the Insurance Commission.

Commission secretary-general Suthipol Taweechaikarn says total premiums will see 101 billion baht revenues this year, an increase from 99 billion baht last year. He adds that the Covid-19 situation is a major factor in higher demand for health insurance policies as medical expenses are likely to increase every year.

Some insurance companies in Thailand have also found an increasing demand for health coverage policies among their customers, especially those with high purchasing power.

Deputy CEO of Tokio Marine Life Insurance Thailand says the company will offer annual premiums starting at 15,000 baht.

“The company aims to increase health insurance premiums to 50% this year from 40% last year.”

Cigna Insurance CEO says the company will use digital technology for product and service development to meet customers’ demands in the new normal lifestyle.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

Police to issue arrest warrants for 2 people allegedly involved in bombing outside Bangkok shopping centre

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police to issue arrest warrants for 2 people allegedly involved in bombing outside Bangkok shopping centre | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Tansettakij Multimedia

Police say arrest warrants will be issued for 2 people allegedly involved in the bombing outside Bangkok’s Chamchuri Square shopping centre following a rally protesting Thailand’s draconian lèse majesté law. The suspects allegedly drove together on a motorcycle on the Thai-Japanese Bridge and threw a “ping pong bomb” down on a group of police officers Saturday evening.

The smoky handmade explosive, which contained small nails, reportedly injured 4 people, including police officers and a reporter. Photos of the injuries are very small scratches. (See photos below.)

The explosion was sometime after a rally at Victory Monument where protesters demanded the release of 2 people who had been arrested on lèse majesté charges. Since November, 43 people have been arrested for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy which carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison. Many have called for the Thai government to abolish the lèse majesté law, which is Section 112 in Thailand’s Criminal Code.

At the rally, protesters wrote messages on banners about the lèse majesté law. Some messages said “Thai education needs to be improved”, “Stop harassing people”, “A failed government, a divisive society” and “Covid-19 is an excuse”.

Protesters and police clashed on Saturday before the rally was broken up. Police said the public gathering violated the Emergency Decree and Disease Control Act.

Nation TV posted a video of the explosion. Click HERE to watch.

Police to issue arrest warrants for 2 people allegedly involved in bombing outside Bangkok shopping centre | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tansettakij Multimedia

Police to issue arrest warrants for 2 people allegedly involved in bombing outside Bangkok shopping centre | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tansettakij Multimedia

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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