Taxi Scam Damages Expo

BANGKOK: Complaints about taxi scams at the THAIFEX exhibition flooded social media yesterday (May 26), with passengers reportedly being charged B4,000 for a trip from Impact Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi to central Bangkok. -5,000 baht.

An inspector from the Land Transport Department patrolled taxi services at Impact Muang Thong Thani yesterday (May 26).Photo: Bangkok Post

THAIFEX–ANUGA ASIA 2023, one of Thailand’s largest trade events, is on full display for the first time since the pandemic, taking up 130,000 square meters of space at Impact Muang Thong Thani from 23-27 May.According to organizers, the event attracted nearly 2,700 exhibitors from Thailand and 40 countries, according to reports bangkok post.

On Thursday, with an average daily attendance of 22,000 people, there were complaints on social media about the traffic conditions and lack of public transport around the exhibition centre.

A Facebook user said taxi drivers turned away Thais who wanted a ride, preferring to pick up foreign passengers and turn off the meters, charging B4,000-5,000 for destinations on Silom and Sukhumvit roads.

Some online users said that the construction of the MRT Pink Line has contributed to traffic in the area.

Construction of the Pink Line from Kae Rai to Min Buri was 96.4 percent complete as of April, according to the government. However, the Pink Line extension to Muang Thong Thani is 20.4% complete and is expected to be completed by 2025.

The Deputy Governor of Nonthaburi submitted an urgent letter to the Nonthaburi Transport Office on May 25, urging the office to send public transport inspectors to the area.

In a post on its Facebook account on Friday, the Land Transport Ministry said it dispatched inspectors to the exhibition center and fined a taxi driver B1,000 for refusing to use the meter.

The ministry reportedly denied allegations that the area was privately run, meaning it could not deploy inspection teams from the start.

Pravit Sribanditmongkol, consultant to the Thai Exhibition Association, said taxi scams are a key issue at many major international events this year, not just THAIFEX.

Such incidents, he said, damage the reputation of a country looking to promote itself as a hub for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) segment.

Mr Pravit said international players could be the main targets of taxi scams, but Thai passengers everywhere faced exorbitant taxi prices.

“After the pandemic, we will vigorously resume our mouse business on a much larger international scale than before 2019. If the authorities do not act decisively against these crimes, no one will choose to visit Thailand in the future,” he said .

Impact Exhibition Management corporate communications director Jintana Phongpakdee said Impact is preparing a free round-trip shuttle service from Mo Chit LRT station to the exhibition center today to reduce taxi scams on the final day of the event, which is open to the public.

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