Taxi performance crisis?

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In the Bangkok Post I read with interest the item stating that the Transport Ministry is likely to scrap a proposed eco-taxi scheme after a preliminary study suggested service standards would fall.

The Deputy Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan yesterday said the Land Transport Department’s findings suggested passengers may not travel in comfort in taxis with small engines, so he agrees with the taxi industry in opposing smaller engine sizes.

“Comfortable” Bangkok taxis. “Comfortable” Bangkok taxis.

The taxi industry spokesman was Withoon Naewpanich, the chairman of the Bangkok Taxi Cooperatives Network, who said he was against proposals to register vehicles with 1.3 liter engines.  Currently, the minimum engine requirement for taxis is 1.5 liters.

Despite the fact that the government has been pushing the eco-car concept of smaller engine cars, the findings of the study suggested that passengers would still find it hard to get comfortable in vehicles with small eco-fuel driven engines.

It is difficult to imagine anything more ridiculous than this statement.  Comfort is not a function of engine size, but is a factor in cabin size.  They do not need legislation on engine capacity, but if they really are thinking about the customer, make sure that the interior is adequate to ferry adult humans around (including giant farangs) without being too squeezy.  The world is moving towards high efficiency, low emissions, economical engines.  Just the ticket for cities like Bangkok, but no, we are not going to get these engines.  We will get up to nine year old cars, belching hydrocarbons!

By the way, there are 28,455 taxis registered as owned by private operators and 75,780 are registered as cooperative-owned.