BANGKOK, 12 March 2012 (NNT) – Thailand Ministry of Transport has granted approval for a taxi fare hike, in line with the rising fuel costs. Fare hikes for other public transport systems that operate on diesel are still awaiting more assessments from the ministry.
Deputy Permanent Secretary for Transport, Silpachai Charukasemrattana, today revealed that the ministry has authorized an increase in the taxi starting fare, which is currently at 35 baht, as taxi operators are found to be facing a higher cost burden from the rising gas prices. The exact amount of fare hike is yet to be determined by the Central Land Transport Committee.
The Committee on Energy Policy Administration recently raised the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas for vehicles (NGV) to 20.33 baht and 10 baht per kilogram, respectively.
Mr Silpachai said that operators of other passenger vehicles and the Passenger Bus Operators Association have also submitted a proposal for fare hikes but the Ministry has not been provided with documents clarifying how the rising gas prices affect their pricing structures.
He explained that since fuel prices are expected to continue to gradually rise, the government sees fit to allow a taxi fare hike. However, for other types of public transport, such as buses and ‘song thaews’ or pick-up truck taxis, relevant agencies are hoping to stabilize the cost of diesel first.
According to Mr Silpachai, the Transport Ministry also needs to ensure legal compliance among taxi cooperatives in Bangkok. Reportedly, there are currently 100,000 taxis in service in Bangkok, whereas the number of vehicles that have passed the Land Transport Department’s inspection is only estimated at 80,000.
The measures the ministry is proposing to address the issue include limiting the number of taxis on the road, making sure taxi drivers have proper licenses as well as limiting the number of immigrant taxi drivers in the capital.
Read more: NNT