Catching a Cab in Bangkok, Taxi OK vs JustGrab & GrabTaxi
Catching a Taxi in Bangkok is sometimes not without its pitfalls and in the past there has been numerous complaints regards to drivers behaviour and unwillingness to do the right thing by passengers. Complaints ranging from refusing to take passengers to the requested location and refusing to turn the metre on. The Thai Government has been working tirelessly to clean up the Taxi industry and one of the new initiatives is the TaxiOk app. TaxiOk was introduced in January 2018 by the Depatment of Land Transport (DLT), with the goal of competing with rideshare & taxi apps, JustGrab & GrabTaxi. In this blog I will outline the features and benefits of the two app platforms.
In November 2017 the DLT introduced a new rule that all Taxis must install a GPS tracker as well as a CCTV camera on the inside of the cab.
The benefit and focus with the TaxiOk initiative is passenger safety, with the new ability to GPS track the vehicles speed and location. In addition to these new safety measures taxis now include an emergency button, that sends a signal to the DLT and the closest police station for help. The participating Taxiok vehicles are easily identifiable with the TaxiOk logo adjacent to the taxi sign on the roof.
Grab has a different approach to passenger safety although they still tack their drivers, they have a stronger focus on vetting the drivers as well as driver training, including first aid and defensive driving training. In addition to this Grab provides personal accident insurance for passengers.
Both platforms will provide the drivers profiles including a photo of the drivers and both charge a booking fee, TaxiOk at 20 baht and Grab at 25 baht, this is additional to the metred fee, however Grab offers an advanced booking fee of 45 baht.
Grab has a informative website that clearly outlines services, policies and also provides a clear breakdown of fares and surcharges. I was unable to find the same information for TaxiOk, with a real lack of information available. If the reviews on Google and Apple apps are an indication of the performance of these two rival apps, the TaxiOk app though fairly new is not without a few hiccups, while the Grab app seems to be the better performing app of the two.
In conclusion, the TaxiOk initiative has some positives with improved regulation, safety and convenience. however on the negatives, there seems a lack of information on the web and reviews indicate an app with some much needed improvements. The grab platform offers a superior quality app as well as a informative website offering a wide range of services including a bonus reward points offering.
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