The Land Transport Department in Thailand is in the process of creating a smartphone app so the public can rate taxis before operators can increase fares for the second time in 6 months.
Taxis fares in Bangkok have already risen by 8% late last year, but before they are allowed to raise them by another 5%, the department wants to make sure that the increases are warranted by assessing whether levels of service have improved.
Passengers will rate taxis using a smartphone app
According to a report on the Thai PBS website, passengers will be able to vote for any taxis they have used, which will then be totalled in 6 months to determine if the rise can go ahead. Teerapong Rodprasert of the Land Transport Department also said that 80% of 100,000 taxis in the city have already passed the inspection and been given stickers that permit the meters to be adjusted. Many of these cabs (more than 30,000) have already implemented the new fare, with the rest expected in the next few weeks.
The new smartphone app will aim to assess the level of service provided and gauge whether taxis are refusing service, especially to Thai passengers at Suvarnabhumi airport. Many of those taxi drivers have already placed signs on their cabs to the effect that “this cab does not refuse service” to highlight the fact to potential passengers.
Currently however, it’s not clear when the app will be made available and on which smartphone operating systems. Presumably, Android and iOS will be covered, but it’s doubtful whether there will be an app for Windows Phone or even BlackBerry devices. There were also few details provided about how customers would use the app and identify the taxis, and whether there will be any safeguards in place to prevent misuse.
Nevertheless, it’s an interesting concept, and one that many in the industry will be watching closely to see how successful it is.
Let us know in the comments whether you have ever been refused a taxi in Bangkok, and the level of service that you experienced. Do the taxis you use generally provide decent service – safe, clean and comfortable, or is there still much room for improvement?