The head of Pattaya’s baht-bus and taxi group railed against ride-hailing apps and private drivers he claims are taking the jobs of his members.
Thawat Plukboonnak, president of the Pattaya Baht Bus Cooperative, called on police and local government agencies to crack down on “illegal” drivers employed by Grab, Bolt and other app services; despite the fact most of those services are legal.
He wildly claimed there are 1,000 “illegal” taxis with no licenses operating in Pattaya. They, not double-parked baht-buses or his metered cabs queued up outside shopping malls, are the cause of traffic congestion and other problems.
Thawat asserted there are too many transport options in Pattaya, resulting in causing traffic problems and traffic violations such as double parking, parking in prohibited parking areas, illegal U-turns, driving off set routes and general bad behavior.
The co-op chief waxed longingly for the days when the military overthrew the government and its junta ruled the transport sector with an iron fist. When the National Council for Peace and Order were in power, he asserted, there were no problems.
But now that democracy has been restored, the old problems have come back, Thawat said.
He said the co-op has 700 baht buses, but only 500 are on the road. There also are 500 metered cabs. But the “illegal” drivers are costing his members money and jobs.
The local government and police need to take a sterner approach and help his group, Thawat maintained.