Moto-Taxi Driver: Herds of netizens have flocked to criticize a motorbike-taxi driver who was caught on video demanding an appalling THB800 (US$24) for an approximately 20-minute ride.
“One more hundred baht, and I might as well fly Air Asia yohome,” wrote one on the clip posted by Facebook user “Baseball player Jidjad” on Friday.
In the video, the moto-cabbie can be seen demanding the THB800 fare after dropping off his passenger — who whips out his phone and begins filming the encounter — in front of his house.
“I’ve never taken a motorbike here for more than THB300 (about US$9),” declares the aggrieved passenger before seemingly giving in and paying the full fare when the moto-cabbie refuses to back down.
The man behind the clip told local outlet Kapook that he had just taken the bike from Ekkamai to Chalong Rat Expy — which according to Google Maps is about 16 kilometers away.
“That’s ridiculous. I’ve taken a taxi from Ekkamai there for THB100 (US$3),” writes a commenter.
Other netizens turned it into a debate on the merits of ride-sharing apps versus traditional taxi services, taking it upon themselves to calculate how much it would cost to travel the same distance using GrabBike — about THB120 (about US$4) as it turns out.
“I tried calling a GrabBike approximately according to your [the video owner’s] route, and it was THB120 (about US$4). Let’s say I called during lunch time rush hour or when it’s raining, it would still be THB350 (US$11) if I doubled that fare, and that is why I use Grab,” declares one commenter who we’re guessing the ride-hailing app is now a big fan of.
While ride-sharing services are technically still unregulated in Thailand, they have rapidly become the preferred method of transportation for many.
Thanks to that, reports of drivers of traditional transport options like tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis getting into conflicts with drivers for the app-based transport services are not uncommon.
Just last month, one tourist from New York got to see that phenomenon up close and personal when he filmed his GrabCar driver getting harassed by local tuk-tuk drivers who demanded he and his travel companion get out of the vehicle.