Bangkok’s private cab service, Smart Taxis, has started fielding taxis that announce their drivers have received a COVID-19 shot.
The company has installed LED roof displays on its vehicles to inform passengers that they are getting a safe trip through the capital, as the driver has been vaccinated. The first-of-their-kind signs are bilingual and show the words “COVID” and “vaccine” in Thai and English in green lettering next to a check box.
A representative from Smart Taxi said that, thus far, three taxi drivers had come by the headquarters to install the signs, and there were more cabbies on their way.
Witoon Naewpanich, president of the Thai Taxi Network Trade Association, has called on the government to prioritize taxi drivers because they risked contracting and spreading the disease. The transport industry was hit hard by the pandemic last year.
On Monday morning, drivers were in a huge crowd at the new Bang Sue Grand station in northern Bangkok. There, COVID-19 jabs were given to transportation workers.
Around 5,000 people are expected to be vaccinated per day, likely increasing the number of green-lettered Smart Taxi signs circulating on the streets. The company currently operates 4,500 taxis, mainly in the greater Bangkok area, with some offering services of outlying travel destinations such as Pattaya.
Launched in November in a joint partnership with mobile operator True, it uses a ride-hailing app that all passengers can use to pay through the TrueMoney Wallet platform.