Thai taxis use the roof of a taxi that was played during the coronavirus crisis as a small vegetable garden, giving the word “roof garden” a new meaning.
This week, two taxi co-operative workers assembled a miniature garden using a black plastic trash bag stretched over a bamboo frame. On top of that, we added soil with various crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans.
The result looks more like an eye-catching art installation than a parking lot. That’s partly the point. It is to draw attention to the plight of taxi drivers and operators who have been severely hit by the coronavirus blockade.
According to 54-year-old executive Thapakorn Assawalertkul, the Ratchapruk and Bovorn Taxi co-operative has only 500 cars left on the streets of Bangkok, with 2,500 idle on sites in many cities.
Two taxi cooperative workers are assembling a miniature garden on the roof of an unused taxi parked in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP)
Until recently, the streets of the capital were very quiet, with too low fares resulting in fierce competition and reduced driver income. Many people can’t afford to pay for their cars daily, even after the fare has been cut in half to 300 baht ($ 9.09), according to Tapakorn. So they left and left the car in a long, quiet line.
He said some drivers surrendered their cars and returned to their rural homes when they first attacked last year’s pandemic because it was so scary. During the second wave I gave up more and returned the car.
“Some people put their cars in places like gas stations and called us to pick them up,” he recalled.
He said the co-operative was “completely knocked out” as thousands of cars were given up by drivers due to a new surge in the virus this year.
New infections in Thailand peaked above 23,400 in mid-August and have recently been well below 15,000. The government hopes that the country will be eased from this most deadly wave to date, accounting for 97% of all cases in Thailand and more than 99% of deaths. In total, Thailand has confirmed 1.4 million cases and more than 14,000 deaths.
This situation puts taxi companies in financial crisis and struggling to repay their loans when buying fleets. According to Tapakorn, the Rajpruek-Bovorn co-operative is in debt of about 2 billion baht ($ 60.8 million). The government has so far not provided direct financial support.
“Without immediate help, we would be really in trouble,” he told The Associated Press Thursday.
Taxi Top Garden does not provide an alternative source of income. Cooperative staff who have been asked to reduce their salaries are taking turns taking care of the new landscaping.
“Vegetable fields are a protest and a way to feed our staff during this difficult time,” said Tapakorn. “Thailand has experienced political turmoil and the 2011 Flood for many years, but the business has never been so terrible.”
Thai taxi turns green in a mini garden on the roof of a car | See photo
Source link Thai taxi turns green in a mini garden on the roof of a car | See photo