Motorcycle Taxi Business Booming in Thailand

Joe Magro
by Joe Magro

Nobody rides for free, not even in Paradise

According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) there are more than 100,000 motorcycle taxis operating in Bangkok alone. The motorcycle taxi, or “Motorsai” as it is known in Thailand, started operating back in 1981 but was controlled by gangs for many years. According to a story that was published in September 2002, it was estimated that Bangkok gangs were extorting at least 100 million Baht or about 2.9 million USD per month from the motorcycle taxi operators.

The BMA finally stepped in to clean up the industry in 2003; today it’s a legitimate way to make a honest living. Once the operator registers with the BMA, they must attend training sessions before they are given the official yellow plate and are assigned different colored vests to indicate the area where they work.

The motorcycle taxis are more expensive than the regular car taxi on short trips but are much cheaper when traveling further. Having only two wheels in traffic obviously has its advantages if you want to get somewhere in a hurry. Depending on how many hours the operator works, they can make anywhere from 300-600 Baht or about $9-$18 USD per day.

Other countries that offer motorcycle taxi service are Cambodia, India, and Indonesia, as well as three firms offering motorcycle taxi service in London.

Joe Magro
Joe Magro

More by Joe Magro

Join the conversation