While tourist numbers have returned, many songtaew drivers told CityNews that they have yet to see any increase in revenue.
Talking to a group of songtaew drivers who were waiting at Arcade Bus Station earlier today CityNews learned that a handful of drivers we talked to had only recently returned to plying their transportation trade, after having been forced into finding other work for the past two years due to petrol prices as well as lack of tourists.
“I am seeing many more tourists, and we do OK here at Arcade,” said 56 year old Wacchai Jinarueng, a songtaew driver. “However, I am only doing 200-300 baht a day, that is under 10 rides at 30 baht each, far below what I used to earn.”
Other drivers agree, citing new applications and other forms of transport which may see songtaews relegated to the pages of recent-history.
“We can’t compete with the convenience and technology,” said one driver.
“I am only getting five or six rides a day,” said another. “It is enough to feed myself. It is up to the kindness of people whether or not to continue to support our business.”