Utilizing idled cabs to make a point!

Utilizing idled cabs to make a point!

Thailand taxi fleets are giving new meaning to the term “rooftop garden,” as they employ the roofs of cabs that went out of commission by the COVID19 crisis to serve as small vegetable plots.

Drivers from two taxi cooperatives gathered the miniature gardens recently using black plastic garbage bags stretched across bamboo frames.

The ultimate result looks more like an eye-catching art installation than a car park, and that’s kind of the point: to bring to light the plight of taxi drivers and operators who have been badly hit by the lockdown measures.

As per the 54-year-old executive Thapakorn Assawalertkul, the Ratchapruk and Bovorn Taxi cooperatives have just 500 cars left utilizing Bangkok’s streets, with 2,500 lying idle at a number of city sites.

With Bangkok’s streets eerily quiet until recently, too much competition for far too few fares, resulting in a fall in their incomes. So they then walked away, leaving the cars in long, silent rows.

Some drivers gave up their cars, returning home in rural areas when the pandemic hit last year as they were scared. While others gave up their cabs during the second wave. 

“Some left their cars at places like gas stations and called us to pick the cars up,” Thapakornc said.

With new surges of COVID19 this year, the cooperatives were “completely tapped out,” as thousands of cars were given up by their drivers, he said.

Although, the taxi-top gardens don’t give an alternate revenue stream. The drivers who were asked to take salary cuts, now take turns tending the newly-made gardens.

“The vegetable garden is both an act of protest and a way to feed my staff during this tough time. Thailand went through political turmoil for many years, and a great flood in 2011, but business was never this terrible,” said Thapakorn.

Source: Agencies

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