Uber X claims it's the cheapest ride in town. We put it to the test. So here’s how it stacks up against Bangkok’s other taxi apps and regular street cabs based on a 10km journey with 20 minutes stuck in traffic.
1. Uber X
Claims to be the cheapest; is the cheapest if our math skills are anything to go by. Rates start at B25 on top of a meter rate of B4.5/km and B1.5/min in traffic. That comes to just B90. And that same rate goes whatever time of the day you choose to ride. www.uber.com
>2. Normal Taxi
The rate starts at B35 and adds up every B5.5/km and B2/min in traffic, making a total of B130. Factor in the three rejections on a drizzly day, and the good ol’ Bangkok cab doesn’t look so attractive.
Though this service only offers plain-old Bangkok taxis, in reality, you can at least be guaranteed a ride from a nearby car. What's more, until the end of the year, they're waiving the B25 calling charge, meaning rates are identical to street cabs: B35 plus B5.5/km and B2/min in traffic, coming out a total of B130. (From next year onwards, B155 total.) grabtaxi.com
>4. All Thai Taxi
Instead of joining with normal taxis, Nakhonchai Air just came up with its own taxis and service app. The app charges B20 for service and a standard rate of B35, but then goes up at exactly the rate of regular street cabs at B5.5/km and B2/min of traffic. The total is a middling B150, but don’t you just love those yellow Prius cabs? www.allthaitaxi.com
>4. Grab Car
Taking the off-peak (8pm-5pm) economy service starting rate of B50, GrabCar makes a smart choice. The meter goes up at B10/km, but there’s no additional charge for minutes stuck in traffic. On our little journey, that makes a total cost of B150. Travel between 5-8pm and it goes up by B25 to B175. Heading from Thonglor to Rattanakosin? We know what we’d take. grabtaxi.com/grabcar
6. Uber Black
Traveling in a Toyota Camry comes at a price. Uber Black's rates start at B45 and go up by B9.2/km and B2.5/min of traffic. The total: B187. But with no cash changing hands, the rate never feels that bad. In fact the total often seems like a pleasant surprise. www.uber.com