Netizen complains Chiang Mai’s ‘red taxis’ will soon disappear without patronage, locals say ‘good riddance’
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Netizen complains Chiang Mai’s ‘red taxis’ will soon disappear without patronage, locals say ‘good riddance’

Netizen says Chiang Mai’s ‘red taxis’ may soon be gone if ridership continues to decline, but locals are unfazed

A Facebook user has taken to the Internet to lament the dismal state of affairs faced by drivers of Chiang Mai’s ‘red taxis’.

Also known as the songthaew, red taxis used to be a popular — and iconic — mode of transport around Thai cities among both locals and tourists. The same can be said for tuk tuks, which are motorised rickshaws.

However, red taxis and tuk tuks, are seeing a gradual decline in ridership as more ride-hailing apps enter the scene, offering commuters a more comfortable and convenient ride that doesn’t require haggling.

Criticising the entrance of these foreign ride-hailing apps, the user said in his post that these traditional modes of transport will meet their end soon if nothing is done.

Source: Sanook

His post drew angry comments from several locals, with many saying the taxis had it coming after years of price-gouging and poor driving.

Netizen made plea over struggling ‘red taxis’

In a now-deleted post to a Facebook group for Chiang Mai locals on 12 May, the netizen commented that local services like red taxis and tuk tuks are no longer profitable because of the entrance of “foreign” apps like Grab.

Source: Sanook

Describing the job as a “dead end”, he said many drivers have to resort to selling their vehicles after the tourist season ends, due to a lack of business from locals.

He then made a plea, asking locals to support the songthaews and tuk tuks “before it’s too late”.

Don’t let it become a distant memory found only in photos, or a gimmick displayed in front of restaurants, he said.

Post invites strong criticism from locals

However, his post drew sharp comments from other Facebook users, who hit back with criticisms  of the local rideshare service.

Complaints include price-gouging, poor driving and parking, as well as frequent instances where drivers abandoned passengers in the middle of a journey.

Source: Sanook

Recalling a story from seven years ago, a commenter said he was on his way home on a tuk tuk after work when the driver spotted a tourist attempting to hail a cab.

The driver stopped the tuk tuk and told the netizen to get off so he could pick up the tourist instead. After that, the netizen said he never used a tuk tuk again.

Source: Sanook

Another user recounted an experience in which a ‘red taxi’ driver took a much longer route than necessary. The ride ended with the driver finding a group of different customers going in a different direction, so the user was abandoned mid-journey.

Overall, commenters felt that drivers of red taxis deserved to be in these circumstances and will need to improve their service standards if they want to attract riders again.

Also read: Thai Taxi Driver Gets Paid S$1.4K For Rushing Foreigner To Airport, Ride Fare Only S$25

Thai Taxi Driver Gets Paid S$1.4K For Rushing Foreigner To Airport, Ride Fare Only S$25

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Featured image adapted from Sanook. 

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