Area police promise crackdown on Pattaya taxis

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About 300 area taxi drivers were told that refusing customers, not using meters and exhibiting generally abusive behavior no will longer be tolerated as the government launches a crackdown on metered cabs in Pattaya and five other tourist destinations.

Maj. Gen. Wattanachai Srirattanawutti, deputy commander of the Provincial Police Region 2, led the Feb. 9 meeting with drivers, along with Chatchai Thongmee, director of the Chonburi Land Transportation Department, and top area police officials.

Officials pull over and inspect taxis along Beach Road in Pattaya as part of the government crackdown on metered cabs in Pattaya and five other tourist destinations.

A two-month concentrated enforcement effort has been launched to bring into line taxi operators in Pattaya, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Phuket, and Hat Yai following daily complaints about poor service and cheating drivers.

Complaints include overcharging customers, not using meters, being unfriendly, refusing short trips, and abandoning passengers before reaching their destination.

Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said the city receives complaints about the city’s 500 taxis on a daily basis.

Existing rules are to be strictly enforced, requiring taxis to be legally registered, have identity cards displayed, have road-worthy cars, and drivers to be friendly and well dressed. They also must park only in designated areas.

Meter rates start at 60 baht for the first two kilometers and four baht for each kilometer afterward.

No Bangkok-registered taxis will be allowed to operate in Pattaya, apart from dropping off customers. This will be enforced by the Land Transport Department.

Chonburi Police commander Maj. Gen. Amphon Buarubporn suggested that Pattaya needs to reduce the number of baht buses on the roads to help metered cabs attract more business.

He also noted that parking remains a problem and influential people controlling taxi stops must be dealt with by Pattaya police.