The logo of Taxi OK is seen on a mobile phone. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
The Land Transport Department will launch a new app on Jan 25 aimed at improving safety for passengers.
Department director-general Sanit Promwong said the Taxi OK app will be ready for download and operational starting from that date. Riders will pay an extra 20 baht for using the app to call a cab, he added.
Taxi OK is another attempt to improve service in Bangkok and other provinces.
Participating taxi owners are required to install the GPS tracking system, an emergency button and a camera in the passenger compartment linked to both the company that owns the vehicle and the Land Transport department.
Bangkok alone has about 100,000 taxis registered with the department and Mr Sanit said about 20,000 have already joined the new programme, which has been on a trial run for some time without an app.
Passengers have complained constantly to the department – and traffic radio stations – about drivers refusing to take them where they want to go. According to the department, this won’t be a problem with the Taxi OK fleet.
The new move comes as taxis registered with the department are facing competition from the app-based ride-hailing services Uber and Grab in Bangkok and other big cities.