The reality of hailing a taxi in Bangkok on a rainy night
Late last night, when Bangkok suffered from heavy rain and flooding, some people who tried to get home amid the summer storm found it took even more effort than usual to catch a taxi.
A video of Thais lining up to hail taxis — with all of them getting rejected by different drivers — has received over 1.6 million views since last night.
The video was posted by Facebook page “This is my way of doing things,” which shares local news and viral videos, with this caption, “The generosity taxi drivers have for their fellow Thais at 10pm on a rainy night.”
The admin continued with a comment that referred to Thai taxis’ complaint that they don’t make enough profit, “When they ask for compassion, should we give it to them?”
The video went viral because how relatable it is.
“I’ve been in this situation too. It’s raining so hard. I was soaked. I hailed a dozen taxis but none of them took me,” a woman said.
“How could they say Uber is stealing their jobs when they’re rejecting the passengers. One day, customers will refuse their service too.”
Some people had a sarcastic response, “Taxi drivers saw that there were so many passengers waiting, so they only stopped to tell these people, ‘Wait here, I’ll go get my taxi friends to take all of you.”
Well, only if that was a reality.
The punishment for rejecting passengers is THB1,000 fine, and while the authorities have attempted to curb the issue by placing officials at the areas where people have reported getting rejected by taxis the most often, the operation has failed to fix the problem in the long term.
In January, the Department of Land Transport aimed to improve taxi service by launching Taxi OK, an application to call a taxi.
The cabs joining the Taxi OK app must be equipped with a GPS and a panic button for the passengers to report dastardly drivers as soon as they start acting up.