6 June 2024

Taxi drivers operating at the Muang Thong Thani convention centre during the Thaifex international trade fair have come under heavy criticism on social media for overcharging passengers, rejecting Thai passengers and refusing to use their meters for both Thai and foreign passengers.

Some of the drivers have charged up to 5,000 baht for a trip from Muang Thong Thani to the Silom or the Sukhumvit areas.

A Thai PBS reporter spoke with Pakpoom, one of those who posted on social media about the actions of the cabbies, who said that a Thai passenger, who tried to hail a taxi to take him from a car park at Muang Thong Thani to the site of the trade fair, a distance of about one kilometre, was asked to pay a 300 baht and the driver refused to use the meter, adding that numerous passengers used the motorcycle taxi service instead.

Thai PBS news team went to Muang Thong Thani to investigate and confirmed that the allegations were true. Some cabbies did not switch on the “unoccupied” sign while waiting to pick up foreign passengers, hoping to overcharge them for trips back to the inner city.

The management of Muang Thong Thani admitted to Thai PBS that every time a major event is held at the exhibition venue, taxi drivers take advantage of passengers, especially foreigners, by refusing to use their meters and demanding exorbitant fees for trips into the city, charging up to 5,000 baht one way.

An executive said that the management will ask the police and the Land Transport Department to station officers at the venue to crack down on dishonest cabbies.

A Land Transport Department official said that passengers who were extorted by cabbies or who came across cabbies who refused to use meters can file complaints via the department’s 1584 hotline.

A manager in charge of managing public transport services at the venue said that his officials are ready to provide information about taxi fares to passengers but, in the case of foreigners from whom exorbitant fares are demanded, it is up to the passenger whether they will accept or reject the fare demanded.

The penalty for not using meters or overcharging passengers is a fine not exceeding 2,000 baht.