Taxi fleets in Thailand are getting creative in their quest to utilize idled cabs due to Covid-19. Staff from two taxi cooperatives have created mini vegetable plots on the roofs of parked cabs by using black plastic garbage bags stretched across bamboo frames. On top of the garbage bags, they added soil creating a very unique “rooftop garden”. Within each taxi garden plot they planted a variety of crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and string beans.
According to the Ratchapruk and Bovorn Taxi cooperatives, who have started this initiative, there are only about 500 cars left taking fares out on the streets of Bangkok and over 2,500 cars now sitting idle. Unfortunately, after being hit by Covid-19, many drivers couldn’t afford the daily payments on their vehicles as there were not enough people taking taxis and paying fares within the city.
These rooftop gardens look more like an art installation than a parking lot full of idled cabs but, according to the cooperatives, that is exactly the idea. Through these “taxi cab gardens”, drivers and taxi fleet owners are hoping to draw attention to the sad plight of taxi drivers who have been unable to earn a living for the past year and a half.
Sadly, Covid-19 is not getting any better in Thailand, with its most recent wave being its most deadly. According to their government, Thailand has a confirmed 1.4 million cases and over 14,000 deaths with 99% of the deaths happening during their most recent surge.
While, the taxi-top gardens don’t offer a substitute revenue stream, it has provided awareness and helps to feed the taxi drivers and their families who are all taking turns tending to the gardens.