City officials have problems with blowing smoke. So they pushed hard to ban polluting vehicles from major Bangkok streets. But city police say planning is premature and incomplete. Police wants to know what to do with polluting buses - and with their passengers - after they stop them. Blowing smoke came from smoke-belching cars, trucks and buses.
Just after the Asian crisis in 1997, traffic jams had almost disappeared from Bangkok. Many people had to give their car back because they couldn't pay the loan back. Since 1999, traffic jams were back. Thais still spend the longest average time travelling to work and back, about 82 minutes a day. The best time to drive in Bangkok is during the Songkran holidays as almost everybody is back in province. A solution to avoid traffic jam during the Asian summit with European countries held in 1996 was to decree holidays by the Thai government during the summit!
When buses reach their destination, "TUK-TUK" drivers surround the passengers in order to convince them to sit in their car. Sometimes they event take the bags into their "TUK-TUK" before any agreement. Price is of course higher for foreign tourists. It can be up to 2 or 3 times the price for short distances. Another tricky thing to get 10 more Baht is to claim to have no small change.
In year 2006, more environmentally-friendly "TUK-TUK" hit the market. The new "TUK-TUK" used a four-stroke 650cc engine with two cylinders, designed for natural gas instead of conventional liquefied petroleum gas. They went for 170,000 baht each. The current rental fee for "TUK-TUK" was 400 baht per day. A loan scheme allowed "TUK-TUK" drivers to pay instalments of 150 baht a day, which was cheaper than their daily rent. Bangkok had about 7400 "TUK-TUK", most of which are rented.