Pattaya motorbike-taxi drivers plead for help stopping competition from Bolt

Representatives of Pattaya motorcycle taxi drivers met with Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijakarn (4th left) to plead for help in removing their private-sector competition.

Pattaya motorcycle-taxi drivers petitioned city hall to crack down harder on the Bolt ride-hailing app.

Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijakarn chaired an April 10 meeting where representatives for groups of motorcycle taxis presented a letter asking for officials to remove their private-sector competition.

Bolt, like Grab, has a service allowing smartphone users to hail a motorcycle taxi at lower, set rates without having to haggle with surly drivers. While Grab has full legal permission to operate in Thailand, Bolt is still new and lacks the same protections.

There also have been numerous crimes involving Bolt drivers. Sanctioned motorcycle taxi drivers in Pattaya also have brawled several times with Bolt drivers.

Wuthisak said Pattaya’s mayor is aware of the conflict between the orange-vested drivers and Bolt employees and will consult with Chonburi Land Transport Department officials and police to see if anything more can, or should be done.