Thailand’s Transport Diversity
Thailand has become the most recent addition to the selection of countries where Uber taxi drivers can accept cash payments from passengers rather than credit cards, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.
The new payment scheme was recently tested out in Bangkok and means passengers do not have to tell their chosen taxi firm in advance whether they will be paying by cash or card.
“Bangkok, as a global business, cultural and tourist hub with a sophisticated rider and driver base is the right environment to conduct this cash experiment,” said Karun Arya, a spokesperson from Uber.
This also shows that Thailand is home to a forward-thinking tourism sector that wants visitors to be able to benefit from flexibility and choice of transport services. Uber regards Bangkok as one of the fastest-growing cities for the service across the whole of Southeast Asia.
The Kingdom follows nine other countries where cash can be used by Uber passengers, including India, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. While Thailand’s test run is only being trialed in Bangkok, it may soon be rolled out to other destinations throughout the country so more passengers can take advantage.
However, Uber is not the only taxi app service available in Thailand. One of its main competitors is Grab, formerly GrabTaxi, which operates in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. For those visiting the Kingdom, the Grab service is available in Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. The app, which is compatible on Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry 10 devices, can be downloaded by the travellers who can then specify their desired destination. Grab often runs promotions, so passengers may find that they can get a discounted price to the one shown on the taxi meter.
All Thai Taxi is another one of the competitors in Thailand’s private transportation market, and the locally-based option operates in much the similar way to Uber and Grab. The service is owned by a bus company which owns its own private fleet of vehicles. One of the bonuses of this service is that it is possible to order a Lady Taxi, with a female driver. The brand is very focused on the safety of its passengers, and all of the drivers are full-time employees of the parent company, which means they aren’t random rent-a-car drivers hoping to earn additional fares. Each driver’s performance (courtesy, proper driving etiquette) is linked to his or her salary and bonus.
updates by Wayne Hue