TDRI to propose surcharge for taxi travel

Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) says it will propose to the Land Transport Department a surcharge on taxi fare to help cab-drivers cope with higher costs due to traffic jams.

The surcharge or travel time fee will be fair to both taxi drivers and their passengers travelling into traffic- congested areas, according to Sumet Ongkittikul, an expert on transportation at the TDRI, and head of the team conducting the research on taxi fare.

Mr Sumet said the surcharge would be calculated according to time spent in traffic.

It would be levied once the trip exceeds an estimated travel time.

He said the introduction of taxi surcharge is aimed to help taxi drivers earn at least 1,600 baht per day before deduction of operation cost, or 300-400 baht net earning which was on par with the minimum daily wage.

However, he said the minimum fare per trip at 35 baht would remain unchanged.

He said the surcharge would be calculated from the time spent in traffic delay, for example 0.50 baht per minute.

But this surcharge would be levied once the journey exceeds an estimated travel time.

He said taxi drivers will receive more fare if they are stuck in traffic jam.

However he suggested that passengers would spend less if they travel through less congested roads.

This would be fair for both sides, he said while added the TDRI will listen to opinions from drivers for further consideration.

Meanwhile Witoon Naewpanit, president of the Siam Taxi Cooperatives, noted that taxi rates were not allowed to rise for the past four years.

He suggested that the fare should be raised by 10 per cent, so drivers will earn 400 baht per day which is suitable for them.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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