Pattaya: Uber to be run out of town but taxis ordered to turn on meters - or else!
Picture: Manager Online
A crisis meeting was held at Pattaya police station to address the Uber vs Taxi Mafia war that has been raging at the resort.
A fist fight between two drivers this week only served to make matters worse so land transport officials, police, soldiers, city hall and taxi representatives gathered to hear some home truths from the chairman of the gathering.
Manot Charnwatanasin who oversees transport matters in Chonburi was forthright and direct in saying how things would be from now on.
While it was very bad news for Uber, taxis in Pattaya were also criticized for not using meters and told to smarten up their act...or else.
Though some conciliatory noises were made about raising taxi prices, reported Manager online.
The taxi drivers had earlier unfurled a banner outside that said:
"Taxis in Pattaya: We don't want Uber - we don't want Grab Car. We don't want any illegal cars here".
Manot said at the well attended meeting that the following would happen:
1. Uber drivers would be fined 2,000 each time they picked up passengers. They would have their licenses suspended immediately for three months. No questions asked, no leniency. The message was they were not wanted in Pattaya.
2. Taxi drivers were ordered to stop hemming in Uber drivers. Stop causing violence. If you don't obey there will be tough penalties as much as can be given under the law. No leniency. The message was no more fighting - tell the authorities if you suspect Uber are operating.
3. Taxi drivers must turn meters on, it is illegal not to do so. If they fail to do that top fines will be issued. No leniency. No excuses.
But Manot stuck a kinder note in another statement.
4. Regarding the view that Pattaya taxis face hardship because fees they can charge are too low leading to not turning on the meter. "We have put this issue at the top of the agenda for discussion and possible change", he told the taxi drivers.
Time will tell if the tough sounding edicts are enforced at the resort and if the travelling public see any change to what has been a burning issue in recent months, notes Thaivisa.
Source: Manager Online
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