Govt has taken complaints seriously & many taxi drivers fined with denial of service most common complaint.
No shortage of taxis - but the question is, will even one of them agree to take you where you want to go?
Taxi owners, passengers say they're not getting a fare deal
["fare deal" sounds like "fair deal" , this is a play on words]
More than 20,000 complaints against taxi drivers have been lodged this year but it's often the owners, rather than the offending drivers, who end up paying the fines
Most complaints focus on drivers who point-blank refuse to take passengers to their destination
The Department of Land Transport (DLT) reported 23,092 calls to the taxi complaint hotline this year. They include complaints about drivers who turn down passengers (11,216), followed by refusing to turn on meters (3,802), impolite service (3,002), going to the wrong destination (2,361) and careless driving (1,436).
The complaints were made against 19,819 drivers, and the department has cleared 15,992 of the cases.
Drivers can receive fines of 1,000 baht if a first offence is proven, the same fine and a seven-day licence suspension for a second offence and a fine of 1,000 baht and permanent licence cancellation for a third offence
A DLT spokesman said the number of complaints has increased each year since the hotline was introduced in 2011, and the rise was due to increased public awareness
Despite a perception that taxi driver behaviour is as bad as ever, the DLT's Land Transport Supervision Division director Sugree Jarupoom said strict enforcement since March had been effective
"It can be seen that the numbers [of complaints] have dropped continuously since we strictly enforced the law in March," Mr Sugree said.
"We are surveying many areas and are conducting many campaigns warning drivers about punishments stemming from customer complaints
"Survey teams who are authorised to enforce the law on taxi drivers operate a daily check during rush hours in main areas such as CentralWorld, MBK, Platinum Mall or Pratunam shopping centres, from where we get most complaints from customers."
Somsak Sakulyuenyong, 50, owns 200 taxis at Hia Dang Garage and said bad drivers were also a concern for his company.
"I have to pay fines of 1,000-1,500 baht on average per taxi should we receive complaints or should they break the traffic rules," Mr Somsak said.
"The driver is actually the one who has to pay these, but it's not his car. If I do not pay, my cars cannot get their licence extended and the business cannot run."
He said it was common for drivers who were found guilty or who owe the company money to flee to another company.
"I know only their name, address and driver's licence number but I will never know if the driver applying to my company has received any complaints before," Mr Somsak said.
"I have asked for this kind of information from an official department but I was refused."
Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said a database of taxi drivers in Bangkok is being compiled and will be accessible to government departments and taxi companies and cooperatives
"Once the system is finished, all blacklisted taxi drivers will be announced to all taxi companies."
Mr Somsak, himself a former taxi driver, understood that passengers' main complaint was being denied service, but asked for understanding
"Taxi drivers all listen to Jor Sor 100 [a radio station reporting traffic in Bangkok]," he said. "When they realise where there is too much traffic they would probably refuse to go."
"Sometimes when they are stuck in a traffic jam their customer leaves them and goes with a motorbike taxi. Sometimes taxis have to drive back from faraway destinations without a customer and it is bad for business."
Taxi driver Somjing Khonman, 53, said it was becoming more difficult to make money, which meant they had to be choosy about which passengers to accept.
"I own my taxi that I have bought from a taxi cooperative, so I have to pay for the LPG myself which currently is 13 baht/kg," he said.
"It is even worse for those renting a taxi at 620 baht per day, as they have to pay about 300 baht for gas only for the 12-hour usage plus the car wash price on a daily basis so they need to make a minimum of 100 baht per hour."
Learn from listening
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accessible: that can be reached, entered, used, seen, etc - ที่สามารถเข้าได้
authorised: given official permission to do something or for something to happen - ได้รับอนุญาต
awareness: knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing - การรับรู้, การทราบ, ความตระหนัก
behaviour: the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว
blacklist: a list of the names of people, companies, products or countries that an organization or a government considers unacceptable and that must be avoided - บัญชีดำ, รายชื่อผู้ที่รัฐบาลไม่ยอมรับหรือต้องถูกหลีกเลี่ยง
campaign: a planned group of especially political, business or military activities which are intended to achieve a particular aim - การรณรงค์
cancellation: a decision to stop something that has been arranged from taking place - การยกเลิก
careless: not giving enough attention and thought to what you are doing, so that you make mistakes - ไม่ระมัดระวัง, ประมาท
choosy: choosing only the good ones that you really like and want; picky - เอาใจยาก, จู้จี้; ยากที่จะทำให้พอใจ, ที่พอใจได้ยาก; ช่างเลือก, ช่างเลือกช่างติ
clear: to successfully deal with a problem or case and thus remove it from your to-do list -
common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา
compile: to collect information from different places and arrange it in a book, report or list - รวบรวม
complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การบ่น, ข้อที่ไม่พอใจ
concern: a worry - ความกังวล
conduct: to do something in an organised way; to carry out — - ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
continuous: happening or existing for a period of time without interruption - ซึ่งติดต่อกัน, ซึ่งต่อเนื่องกัน
cooperatives: a farm or business owned and run by the people involved, with the profits shared by them - สมาคมสหกรณ์
currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
database: a large amount of information stored in a computer in an organised way - ฐานข้อมูล
deal: a formal agreement, especially in business or politics - การตกลงซื้อขาย, ข้อตกลง, การซื้อขาย
deny: to refuse to allow somebody to have something - ปฎิเสธ, ไม่ยอมรับ
despite: used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it; used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned - ถึงอย่างไรก็ตาม, ทั้ง ๆ ที่
destination: the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง
director: one of a group of senior managers who run a company - กรรมการบริษัท
division: one part of a large company or organization - แผนก
effective: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี
end up: to be in a certain situation or place after doing something - ลงท้าย, ในที่สุด, ลงเอย
enforcement: the process of making sure that something happens, especially that people obey a law or rule - การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
enforce : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
extend: to continue for a particular period of time or to add more time - ยืดออกไป
fair: acceptable and appropriate in a particular situation - เท่าเทียม, ยุติธรรม
faraway: not near; at a distance from where you are; very far away - ห่างไกล, ไกลลิบ, ไกล,
fare: the money that you pay for a journey - ค่าโดยสาร
fine: an amount of money that you have to pay because you have broken the law - ค่าปรับ
flee: to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ
focus: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another - เพ่งความสนใจ
guilty: having been decided by a court of law that you committed the crime your were accused of - มีความผิด
hotline: a telephone number that people can call for information - โทรศัพท์สายตรงที่จัดไว้สำหรับเหตุเร่งด่วนหรือเฉพาะเรื่อง
impolite: not polite; rude; rough - ไม่สุภาพ,หยาบ
licence: an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต
lodge: to formally make something such as a complaint or a claim - ยื่น (คำร้อง)
minimum: the lowest possible; the lowest allowed - ต่ำที่สุด, น้อยที่สุด
offence: a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย
offend: to commit a crime against; to cause someone to be upset or angry - ฝ่าฝืนกฎ, ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดความขุ่นเคือง
official: connected with the job of somebody who is in a position of authority - ที่เป็นทางการ
on a daily basis: happening every day -
operate: to carry out a planned activity involving a lot of people to work in a particular way or from a particular place - ปฏิบัติ, ปฏิบัติงาน
passenger: someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
perception: a particular way of understanding or thinking about something - ความเข้าใจ
permanent: happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future - ถาวร
play on words: when a writer plays with the meaning of words to amuse and entertain readers - เล่นคำ, ใช้ถ้อยคำในการประพันธ์ให้มีอักษรสัมผัสหรือคล้องจองกันเป็นพิเศษนอกเหนือไปจากกฎเกณฑ์ที่กำหนดไว้
point-blank: touching or very close to the person or thing it is aimed at - ซึ่งยิงในระยะใกล้, ซึ่งเป็นระยะเผาขน
public: open to people in general; intended to be seen or heard by people in general - อย่างเปิดเผยให้รู้
punishment: an act or a way of punishing somebody - การลงโทษ
realise: to know about - ตระหนัก รู้
refuse: to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
report: to tell someone officially that something exists or happened - รายงาน
rush hour: a time of the day when large number of people are either going to or coming from work - ช่วงเวลาเร่ิงด่วน (อันที่จริงในภาษาไทยที่ดีไม่มีคำว่า ช่วงเวลาเร่งด่วน คำนี้ควรกล่าวว่า ช่วงเวลาที่มีการสัญจรไปมามากกว่าช่วงเวลาอื่น)
shortage: when there is not enough of something - การขาดแคลน
stem from: to be caused by - เกิดจาก
strict: demanding that rules are obeyed; very careful and exact - เข้มงวด
stuck: unable to move, or fixed in a particular position or place - ติด
supervision: the process of making sure that something is being done properly - การควบคุมดูแล การตรวจตรา
survey: the act of asking for and recording information - การสำรวจ, การหาข้อมูล
survey: to make an examination of something to find out about its condition - สำรวจ
survey: to ask a large number of people questions to find out their opinions - สำรวจ
suspension: stopping for a period of time - การยกเลิกชั่วคราว, การระงับชั่วคราว
traffic: the number of cars, trucks and other vehicles traveling along a road at one time - การจราจร
traffic jam: roads that are very crowded with vehicles - รถติด
traffic violation: when someone breaks the law while driving a car or truck, such as speeding, not stopping at a red light or at a stopsign or driving dangerously...etc - การฝ่าฝืนกฎจราจร
transport: moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง
turn down: to reject; to not agree with a request, offer or proposal - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
understanding: sympathy; understand someone's difficult situation; when you see and understand the problem that a person i experiencing so you don't complain or help them; compassion, pity - ] ความเห็นใจ, ความสงสาร
warn: to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน
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