Posted by Dave on 3 October 2007, 5:45 pm
Samui police along with the Department of Land Transport have cracked down on Samui taxi drivers that are taking passengers off the meter and fleecing unsuspecting tourists for fares much higher than what they would be on the meter.
109 cabbies have been arrested for their cheating practices by not turning their meters on when passengers get in their cabs. The arrested drivers were caught during a checkpoint that was set up after enough momentum had gathered about the issue.
In what was perhaps the last straw to force action, there was the incident of four tourists who were assaulted by a taxi driver after they refused to pay what they deemed to be an outrageous charge for the distance they travelled.
The Ministry of Transportation has regulated fares on the island, with an initial 50 baht for the first two kilometres, 11 baht per kilometre up to 10 kilometres. Between 11 and 20, the rate is lowered to 9 baht, and over 20 kilometres, the price is 7 baht per kilometre.
Head of the Ko Samui police Major Sathabhorn Sangaunsuk says, “Taxi drivers will have to use their meters but we have to make sure that the rate they are allowed to charge is fair enough to help them cope with Samui’s expensive cost of living.”