Since 2008 Pattaya also has a few dozen air-conditioned metered taxis or “taxi meters” that can be chartered at major shopping malls and hotels around Pattaya. They are part of the same consortium that operates the city’s Baht buses and were supposed to be a reasonable alternative to the hundreds of blue pick-up tin monsters that roam the streets of Pattaya 24/7 and will usually just follow designated routes.
But what’s in a name? Despite their labeling as “metered taxis”, drivers of the blue-yellow cabs will actually never turn on the meters but passengers have to negotiate fares individually. That obviously contradicts the very idea of a “metered” taxi and is reportedly to change in the very near future.
Pattaya One reports:
Complaints from tourists and others that use the taxis include problems with drivers not activating the meters and overcharging for journeys. Some drivers refuse fares for no apparent reason and others take their passengers to the wrong destination. It was also mentioned that some taxis are in poor condition and some drivers are extremely rude.
Following a “barrage of complaints received by the Prime Minister’s Office,” police have now reportedly ordered an overhaul of how the misnamed metered taxis operate, reportedly not just in Pattaya but also five other tourist destinations, including Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Phuket. The revolutionary idea is that the drivers, believe it or not, actually turn on the meters and do not charge overpriced flat rates any longer.
In a meeting at the Alcazar theatre on Monday, which was attended by some 300 taxi drivers and representatives of “six separate taxi cooperatives,” police announced that the desired changes “will need to be made within two months.” According to Pattaya One, the details are as follows:
The maximum charge for passengers for the first two Kilometers is 60 Baht and then 4 Baht for every extra kilometer travelled. Stickers in every metered taxi showing the customer complaint line 1337 must be displayed (…)
Sounds promising? Don’t hold your breath. Similar rules were laid down for motorcycle taxis in Pattaya only a few months ago but have never been enacted. It’s hollow words and lip service at best, as usual when some kind of “crackdown” on some kind of scam has been ordered from above. Take jet skis, for example, or corruption.