Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

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Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Sat May 02, 2020 11:53 pm

With Tourism Declines, Tuk-Tuk Drivers Are Down and Out in Phnom Penh
8 min read
Taing Keoratanah Fri May 1, 2020 9:06 pm

Poeun Da abandoned his job at a Phnom Penh garment factory to drive a tuk-tuk last year, and the $3,000 investment in his vehicle seemed to pay off. Da said he could earn at least 100,000 riel ($25) a day, and between $500 and $600 a month, ferrying locals and tourists through the capital via mobile ride-hailing apps.

That was the case until mid-March when the global Covid-19 pandemic made its way to Cambodia — with confirmed cases rising from one to more than 100 — and dealt a blow to his livelihood. Now, he earns just $2.50 to $5 a day.

“It’s really hard, bro! To be frank, in one day, I get only one ride,” said the husband and father last month. “Today, from morning till night, I had only one ride, and I need to pay to the ride-hailing company and some for gas.”

Tuk-tuk drivers like Da are losing their income as tourist arrivals to Cambodia plummet and residents decide to stay home. At the same time, the informal workers are largely excluded from the limited social welfare that formal workers have access to during the economic slowdown.
https://vodenglish.news/with-tourism-de ... hnom-penh/
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by frizzie77 » Sun May 03, 2020 12:07 am

If there's one trade suffering from the coronavirus I have zero sympathy for, it's the tuk tuk drivers. I mean the 'traditional' ones that were mainly lying in their tuk tuk all day, and were very reluctant to get into action unless you were willing to pay 4 times the usual rate, OR interested in buying some illegal substance from them. When Mr. "Poeun Da" says he used to earn 500-600 dollars a month, I'm quite sure it was not from rides alone.

And who were the customers for that trade? Right, the 'dumb' tourists, and yes, they've now disappeared, leaving the dumb tuk tuk drivers without any income. I don't care whatsoever, let them rot.

Oh, and please don't tell me "But I know a tuk tuk driver who's wonderful!" Yes, I know one or two as well, but they're the exception that proves the rule.
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by rexwell » Sun May 03, 2020 8:33 am

I use Grab because it's a fixed price, and I can pay by visa, but I often tip a dollar for good behaviour, 2000r if they were OK, and nothing if they pull any dodgy moves. Times are tough. Be Kind.
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by IraHayes » Sun May 03, 2020 8:55 am

Maybe, given their aptitude for basic economics when they say he earns $25 a day they meant turned over. The article does mention that he has to pay the ride hailing company and some gas. I think he is confusing turn over with actual money earned after the company takes its commission.

These apps are priced on distance. Now if, for simplicity sake, we say 1km = 1,000R he would have to drive 80,000kms to take home (after commission) $20 and if we say his average speed on a journey is 15km/h he would be driving for about 5.5hours. Given these guys are probably “working” or at least available to take work for 10 hours each day I think a decent driver running with not just one hailing app company should see a take-home of between $15 and $20 a day maybe dropping to $10 on a rough day.
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by hunter8 » Sun May 03, 2020 1:39 pm

IraHayes wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 8:55 am
I think he is confusing turn over with actual money earned after the company takes its commission.
Maybe I am confusing something too, but it says that he invested 3000usd into his tuktuk, so which company is taking commission, isn’t he an independent driver who owns his tuktuk? Maintenance costs and gas, yes, but what else?
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by Jerry Atrick » Sun May 03, 2020 1:44 pm

hunter8 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 1:39 pm
IraHayes wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 8:55 am
I think he is confusing turn over with actual money earned after the company takes its commission.
Maybe I am confusing something too, but it says that he invested 3000usd into his tuktuk, so which company is taking commission, isn’t he an independent driver who owns his tuktuk? Maintenance costs and gas, yes, but what else?
Grab/passapp/generic knockoff of either one booking app.
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by hunter8 » Sun May 03, 2020 1:48 pm

Jerry Atrick wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 1:44 pm
hunter8 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 1:39 pm
IraHayes wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 8:55 am
I think he is confusing turn over with actual money earned after the company takes its commission.
Maybe I am confusing something too, but it says that he invested 3000usd into his tuktuk, so which company is taking commission, isn’t he an independent driver who owns his tuktuk? Maintenance costs and gas, yes, but what else?
Grab/passapp/generic knockoff of either one booking app.
I assumed this driver is truly independent, driving one of those old style “motorcycle+cart” tuktuks.
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by Jerry Atrick » Sun May 03, 2020 1:53 pm

hunter8 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 1:48 pm
Jerry Atrick wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 1:44 pm
hunter8 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 1:39 pm
IraHayes wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 8:55 am
I think he is confusing turn over with actual money earned after the company takes its commission.
Maybe I am confusing something too, but it says that he invested 3000usd into his tuktuk, so which company is taking commission, isn’t he an independent driver who owns his tuktuk? Maintenance costs and gas, yes, but what else?
Grab/passapp/generic knockoff of either one booking app.


I assumed this driver is truly independent, driving one of those old style “motorcycle+cart” tuktuks.
All the apps also have options to book the old style tuk tuks also. A lot of them have adopted the M. O of driving to pick up and turning off the app and attempting to negotiate a higher fare.
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by Doc67 » Sun May 03, 2020 4:55 pm

“It’s really hard, bro! To be frank, in one day, I get only one ride,” said the husband and father last month. “Today, from morning till night, I had only one ride, and I need to pay to the ride-hailing company and some for gas.”
I smelt a rat when they quoted a tuk tuk using the phrase, "to be frank"
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Re: Phnom Penh Tuktuk Drivers are Feeling the Coronavirus Slowdown

Post by hunter8 » Sun May 03, 2020 5:49 pm

Doc67 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 4:55 pm
“It’s really hard, bro! To be frank, in one day, I get only one ride,” said the husband and father last month. “Today, from morning till night, I had only one ride, and I need to pay to the ride-hailing company and some for gas.”
I smelt a rat when they quoted a tuk tuk using the phrase, "to be frank"
They have similar expressions in khmer and use them often like we use “honestly, to be frank, actually, etc.”
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