JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Taxi for hire! Bangkok cabbie hopes to capitalise on his COVID-19 shot

Taxi for hire! Bangkok cabbie hopes to capitalise on his COVID-19 shot

Monday, June 07, 2021, 09:32 GMT+7
Taxi for hire! Bangkok cabbie hopes to capitalise on his COVID-19 shot
Thai taxi driver Sombat Subin wipes down a sign above his cab showing that he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in order to attract more customers in Bangkok, Thailand, May 29, 2021. Photo: Reuters

After losing countless fares during the pandemic, Thai taxi driver Sombat Subin has sought to reassure nervous clients by letting them know in three languages on the sign above his cab that he has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

"I think the lit-up sign creates confidence for passengers and I feel that it has also helped increase my income," said Sombat, from Nonthaburi, a province north of Bangkok.

The 43-year-old said the sign, which reads "Vaccine" and then "COVID" with a tick next to it and appears in Thai, English and Mandarin, was a conversation piece in his taxi.

Thai taxi driver Sombat Subin rides with a sign above his cab showing that he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in order to attract more customers in Bangkok, Thailand, May 29, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Thai taxi driver Sombat Subin rides with a sign above his cab showing that he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in order to attract more customers in Bangkok, Thailand, May 29, 2021. Photo: Reuters

"It's to confirm to them that the driver has been fully vaccinated... So, the passengers are not afraid," he said.

Sombat said he became a taxi driver three years ago after finding working in an office stifling. Before the pandemic, he earned about 60,000 baht ($1,920) a month, but this has slumped to as little as 10,000 baht during the latest wave of infections.

Thailand had managed to largely contain virus cases for much of last year, but since April has struggled to quell its most serious outbreak so far that includes more contagious variants.

Thai taxi driver Sombat Subin rides with a sign above his cab showing that he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in order to attract more customers in Bangkok, Thailand, May 29, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Thai taxi driver Sombat Subin rides with a sign above his cab showing that he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in order to attract more customers in Bangkok, Thailand, May 29, 2021. Photo: Reuters

This has increased pressure on authorities to speed up vaccinations with the country's rollout lagging many neighbours.

Only 2.7 million Thais have received a first vaccine dose and the government has been scrambling to source more.

Authorities have tried to prioritize frontline workers including taxi drivers and public transport staff.

Kanokwan Sattawong, a passenger in Sombat's taxi, said: "I feel more confident when drivers are fully vaccinated and feel safe to use public transportation."

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news