Pattaya officials check motorbike taxis, fail to act on overcharging

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Pattaya city and military officials inspected motorbike taxi stands in South Pattaya to determine if a new registration system is working, but failed to take any action on the city’s chronic overcharging problem.

Pattaya city and military officials inspect motorbike taxi stands in South Pattaya to determine if a new registration system is working.
Pattaya city and military officials inspect motorbike taxi stands in South Pattaya to determine if a new registration system is working.

Government officials, executives from the Chonburi Land Transport Office and soldiers checked on taxi stands on Soi Land Office to see that drivers were registered, wearing proper identification badges and vests, and charging legal rates.

They reported no issues, but also did not address the long-running overcharging issue.

Authorities revealed that there are currently more than 4,000 registered motorbike taxi drivers in Pattaya, with more than 100 stands so it will take time to check them all. But officials asked residents and tourists to be sure they use only the official drivers.

Problems have stemmed from unregistered drivers, who have been known to rob or assault passengers.

Driver Jit Martpaeng said what authorities are doing is right and helps the general image of the industry. There are a lot genuine motorbike taxi drivers who have cooperated and registered as requested, he said.

However, the most-common problem that persists, he said, is that some drivers overcharge customers, particularly foreigners.

He claimed he is working honestly, by charging only 60 baht from Central Pattaya to Thepprasit Road, while others charge 100 baht.

However, this “honest” driver actually is still charging over the legal rate.

According to Chonburi Land Transport regulations, motorbike taxis must charge only 25 baht for the first two kilometers and 5 baht for each of the next three kilometers.

A ride from Big C Extra on Central Road to the Thepprasit Night Market, for example, is 4.6 kilometers. The fare should be 40 baht, not 60 baht.

Fares over five kilometers can be negotiated between driver and passenger, the Land Transport Office says.