Vietnam should set different price ranges for taxi

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Taxi cab prices in Vietnam should stay stable and be divided in a wider range so that drivers are not forced to drive longer than needed.

Every time gas prices rise, taxi firms in Vietnam raise their rates as well. I've been to Thailand and Singapore for many years and have never seen the taxi prices change so many times, even though the gas prices in those countries have also been increasing.

In Bangkok, a four-seat taxi cab charges 35 baht (US$1.07) for the first kilometer, 5 baht/km for the next 11 kilometers, 5.5 baht/km for the next eight kilometers, 6 baht/km for the next 20 kilometers and 8 baht ($0.24)/km for the next 20 kilometers.

It's more expensive for longer distances as there's chance the driver has to return without customers.

In Singapore, taxi passengers are charged 2.8-3.2 Singapore dollars ($1.99-2.28) for the first kilometer, depending on the quality of the car. It is 0.52 Singapore dollar/km for the next nine kilometers, and 0.6 Singapore dollar ($0.43)/km from the 10th kilometer.

Those prices have remained unchanged for many years and are lower than those in Vietnam, on average. Taxi prices in Vietnam in late February were VND9,000 ($0.48) for the 0.8 kilometer, VND11,500 ($0.62)/km for the next 30 kilometers and VND8,000 ($0.43)/km from the 31st kilometer.

Also, if we think about the fact that wages and GDP per capita in Vietnam are lower than those in Thailand and Singapore, the higher taxi prices are even more unreasonable.

But I think the most unreasonable thing about the taxi prices in Vietnam is that the first and 30 following kilometers are charged the same at VND11,500/km. That price is actually much lower than the price for the first kilometer in Thailand and Singapore.

It has led to the familiar situation in which customers want to travel a short way, around a couple of kilometers, but the driver would drive around and around to earn more money.

That is a waste of money, fuel and time of both the driver and customer. It adds to traffic jams as well.

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