Taxis vs UBER wars heat up in Pattaya

The war between taxi drivers and Uber has a new battleground in Pattaya. Reports in the local media and online show that fights and violence have broken out between drivers suspected of threatening the livelihood of traditional taxis. Worryingly, one case of taxis following someone they thought was an UBER driver was a case of mistaken identity as it was actually a real estate agent taking a client to look at properties. In other cases, drivers have been dragged from vehicles and beaten up while the horrified passenger looks on. The Pattaya police have generally treated taxi drivers taking vigilante action leniently. But on the other hand, enforcement of the laws has also been lax.

Uber X, servicing the low cost segment, has been declared illegal by the Thailand Department of Land Transport and drivers can be fined, with fines typically being around 2,000 baht. Despite this the service is popular in Bangkok and has expanded to Pattaya. The price is typically cheaper than taxis for example from Central Festival to Pattaya bus station is around 110 baht compared to 300 baht for a Chonburi taxi. 

We recommend using songtaews, the converted pickup trucks with bench seats, for getting around central Pattaya. This is very cost effective as the charge is only 10 baht per person. Songtaews can also be hired to take you to the destination of your choice by talking with the driver and agreeing on a price. For the brave motorbike taxis are a convenient and quick option, often being the fastest way through traffic. The fare from anywhere north up to dolphin roundabout to Walking Street is 60 baht, however at night time when returning from Walking street prices may spike to 80 baht, and also expect to pay 100 baht if 2 people are riding (with the driver being a total of 3 people on the motorbike, this is technically illegal and only recommended for very short journeys).

richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.

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