Airport cab queue to be computerised

Taxi queues at Suvarnabhumi airport will be computerised within a month to end the influence of the "mafia" controlling cab operations there, chief of the 11th Military Circle Maj Gen Nirundorn Samutsakorn said on Wednesday.

The move is part of attempts by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to better organise public transport.

He said the army felt that the first priority in taxi management should be at the airport, for the sake of the country’s image and to prevent problems such as passengers left stranded on the road, over-charging of fares, and drivers acting improperly.

Maj Gen Nirundorn said airport taxis and drivers would be required to register in a computer system at the airport, then the cab queues would be managed by a card system. All drivers would have to accept that the passengers they get, and the destination, would depend on the luck of the draw.

Taxi queue management at the airport had become a long-term problem. Most drivers wanted passengers going a long distance, for instance to Pattaya or Hua Hin when the fare would be 2,000-3,000 baht a trip. But these drivers also had to pay someone to select passengers for them, he said.

Under the new computerised system, drivers accepting short-distance passengers would be allowed more frequent access to the queue. 

“It is expected that the mafia system will disappear, as there will be no need for someone to screen passengers for the taxis.

"I would say that we seek their cooperation, but if they do not cooperate some soldiers may be stationed at the taxi queue counter,” he said.

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