Bangkok taxis use digital displays to show whether driver has been vaccinated

Taxis in Thai capital Bangkok are using digital displays to show that their drivers had been vaccinated for Covid-19. Private cab service Smart Taxi installed the LED display boards on the roof of their vehicles that flashes the words ‘vaccine,’ ‘Covid,’ and ‘taxi’ in multiple languages. The taxi company currently has 5,000 vehicles that use a ride-hailing app that allows passengers to pay online reducing physical contact with drivers. Managing director Phiset Tinnakorn Na Ayutthaya said the lockdown has reduced taxi revenues in Thailand by more than 70 per cent as people were scared to travel – so they developed the system to make passengers feel safer. He said: ‘There was a policy from the government encouraging taxi drivers to get vaccinated. We informed our drivers that our system could show whether they’re vaccinated. ‘Our drivers have ID cards that they are required to scan before driving. The roof light normally only shows whether the taxi is occupied but our drivers can submit an official document to prove they received two vaccine doses.’ Upon scanning a vaccinated driver’s ID, the taxi system will trigger the digital display to flash information that he had been vaccinated. Phiset added that drivers provide public services and they deserve vaccines as they keep the economy running. He said: ‘If the transport is stopped and people are afraid, how can we move forward? It’s definitely a big problem. Now, we’ve gained attention domestically and internationally.’ Smart Taxi had also submitted requests to the Department of Land Transport to formally received permission to use the digital display messages. Phiset said: ‘Medical information is complex and I’m no doctor but between a vaccinated driver and an unvaccinated one, which gives more confidence? I am helping to encourage inoculation to end this crisis.’

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