DLT, army cracks down on meter-shunning cabbies…. for a day

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The Chonburi Department of Land Transport launched a one-day “crackdown” on Pattaya metered taxis after numerous complaints about overcharging.
The Chonburi Department of Land Transport launched a one-day “crackdown” on Pattaya metered taxis after numerous complaints about overcharging.

The Chonburi Department of Land Transport launched a one-day “crackdown” on Pattaya metered taxis after numerous complaints about overcharging.

DLT representative Somart Kang-gnuen and soldiers set up a checkpoint near Central Festival Pattaya Beach Feb. 7 to catch cabbies not using meters and others hiring out their cars for private charters.

Somart said the task force caught “many” cabs not using their meters and fined each one 1,000 baht. They also inspected the vehicles themselves, fining drivers 2,000 baht each for cars that didn’t meet DLT standards.

The one-day crackdown has been the only follow-up to a supposed clampdown on metered cabs launched by the military in August. The so-called “D-Day” for cabbies came and went Aug. 22 with the army paying only lip service to an effort to stop cabs from camping outside hotels and shopping malls and requiring them to use meters.

With the lack of enforcement, Somart said the department again has been flooded with complaints about drivers who refuse to use meters or claimed they didn’t work.

Pattaya cabbies long have complained that the 35-baht base fare is too low and that they cannot compete against baht buses and drivers using the Uber ride-sharing app.

Somart said officials are aware that the budget Uber X service continues to operate in Pattaya, despite the Transport Ministry declaring it illegal.

He urged passengers faced with a price-gouging cabbie to call 1584 to file a complaint.