Pattaya deputy mayor vows fare clampdown on motorbike taxis

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After being overcharged by a motorbike taxi in a ride across town, Pattaya’s deputy mayor said he now wants to make a serious effort at having the city’s rogue transportation sector comply with the law.

Speaking at the Feb. 11 Pattaya Business & Tourism Association Meeting at the Grand Sole Hotel, Verawat Khakhay said he now has experienced first-hand the price gouging long suffered by Pattaya tourists and locals at the hands of motorcycle taxis.

He said he was charged 100 baht, or almost 35 baht a kilometer, to travel from North to South Pattaya.

Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay told the PBTA that he now has experienced first-hand price gouging at the hands of motorcycle taxis.Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay told the PBTA that he now has experienced first-hand price gouging at the hands of motorcycle taxis.

According to Chonburi Land Transport regulations, that ride should have cost 30-35 baht: 25 baht for the first 2 kilometers and 5 baht for each of the next two kilometers.

Local officials have crowed about their success in complying with a National Council for Peace and Order directive to register and issue new vests and identification cards to the city’s motorbike taxi drivers, but have made no progress – or little obvious effort – to enforce legal fares.

In Bangkok, by contrast, drivers are not only registered and outfitted correctly, but strictly adhere to rates, offering rides starting at just 15 baht. By contrast, traveling from the Pattaya Bus Station to Soi Buakhao costs 80 baht. In Bangkok, the same ride would be half that.

Ronakit said he now has seen the problem first-hand and wants to mobilize city hall and local police to resolve the problem, including bringing in Immigration Police to help with tourists that get ripped off by drivers who are further damaging Pattaya’s reputation.