A non-violent confrontation between Bolt drivers and Pattaya motorcycle taxi riders took place in the early hours of today at the Pattaya beachfront in front of Soi Six. Both sides accused each other of stealing “their” passengers.
At 00:30 AM on May 25th, Pattaya Police rushed to stop ride-hailing drivers “Bolt” and “Win” motorbike riders from resorting to any act of violence after the two sides had an intense standoff at Pattaya Beach in front of Soi Six.
Fortunately, law enforcement officers reached the location in time and were able to stop both sides before any harm was committed. The two groups of about 70 drivers agreed to settle the dispute, at least at that moment, and went separate ways. However, the issues between them remained unsolved, according to police.
The Pattaya News interviewed Pol. Lt. Col. Surachet Aneksri, deputy superintendent of Pattaya Police Station, about the dispute and was told that both groups often argued about each other allegedly stealing each other’s passengers and so-called territory.
He said the Win riders accused Bolt riders of operating without public transportation licenses, insurance, registration, and plates which are required by Thai law to operate as public transportation service providers. On the other hand, the Bolt riders argued that it was the only way they could continue to make a living.
Nevertheless, Lt. Col. Surachet suggested that the two groups maintain peaceful coexistence for now as it may negatively impact the city’s tourism industry.
That being said, Lt. Col Surachet admitted that the regular taxi motorbike drivers working with city approval and licenses were technically on the right side of the law, legally wise.
As for the motorbike taxi drivers, they are okay to continue their normal operations as they have all appropriate transport document requirements, however, for the Bolt drivers who currently operate without specific regulations and documentation, they are in violation of the law, thus if they were caught, legal action should be taken accordingly, Lt. Col. Surachet warned.
Pattaya police have regularly been cracking down on Bolt and Grab drivers for some time in Pattaya. Grab has recently made efforts to ensure its drivers have proper documentation but this has also affected the number of available drivers, leading to complaints from customers.
Bolt, meanwhile, which is not based in Thailand, has not complied with various Thai transport regulations and rules, claim Thai police. As their offices and management is not structured or physically present in Thailand, however, it is difficult to enforce.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and get all our news delivered to you in one spam-free daily e-mail Click here! OR, enter your e-mail below!