CrimePattaya

Motorcycle taxi riders rally against unlicensed ride-share app drivers in Pattaya

Motorcycle riders protest, photo by The Pattaya News.

Over 100 Pattaya motorcycle taxi riders showed up at Pattaya City Hall yesterday to make some noise about unlicensed ride-share app drivers.

The motorcycle taxi riders are calling for a crackdown, saying that these unlicensed drivers are stealing their passengers. In an open letter to Pattaya Deputy Mayor Wuttisak Rueimkitkan, the riders accused app drivers of:

  1. Not having had their vehicles registered for public transport.
  2. Not having a public transport license or taxi insurance.
  3. Stealing passengers from legal drivers by charging lower fares than the standard rates agreed upon by Pattaya City Hall regulations for public transport.

Ride-share companies are aware of these legal requirements, however, they have continually asked the Thai government for more time to get all their riders legal, The Pattaya News reported.

The companies have warned that if the requirements are heavily enforced, they would lose most of their drivers, and there would be negative customer experiences.

The protesting riders said they wanted authorities to arrest and fine the illegal drivers. Deputy Mayor Wuttisak said he would take the issue to the City Council where he would convene all relevant agencies to discuss the best solution.

Pattaya is not the only city in Thailand where there have been issues over registration for ride-share drivers. In July, Bangkok motorcycle taxi riders and taxi drivers burned their orange safety vests in protest of the Transport Ministry’s decision to extend the license of GrabBike riders for two more months.

This was after Grab had announced that every one of its riders had to register as a public transport operator and change their registration plates from white to yellow if they wanted to continue as a taxi riders. The two-month extension to give Grab riders more time to do this caused outrage among a group of motorcycle taxi riders and taxi drivers.

A campaign to reclaim the old rules for GrabBike riders was launched on the change.org website. The campaign said there was no justice for the riders.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.