Area officials are taking new steps to regulate motorbike taxis by imposing limits on the number of drivers and requiring tax payments and licenses.
Publicly acknowledging that motorbike taxi drivers are a major contributor to the area’s crime problem, Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho and Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh met Oct. 18 to hash out details of a new system, which designates legally operated motorbike taxis with yellow license plates.
Sakchai said as many as 5,000 motorbikes are parked on street corners and outside condominiums offering taxi service. However, he said, many are involved in crime and criminals make up a “large number of the underlying population.” Taxi drivers frequently are arrested for drug dealing and involvement in violent crime.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh (left) and Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho meet with city officials to hash out details of a new system, which designates legally operated motorbike taxis with yellow license plates.
Sakchai said he has asked the Chonburi Transport Department to inspect motorbike taxis operating in Pattaya and issue legitimate drivers yellow license plates. At the same time, the department would require records of tax payments and limit the number of plates issued to control the taxi population.
City taxi drivers will get a chance to express their views on the proposal at an Oct. 30 hearing.
Motorbike taxis currently face a minimal amount of regulation. Drivers must wear colored and numbered vests corresponding to regions, but virtually no other rules are enforced on them, leading to countless disputes over fares and service every week. Tourist surveys consistently point to motorbike taxis as one of Pattaya’s worst problems.