Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Pink buses delivering people, promises and dreams

Published

 on 

Phuket Opinion: Pink buses delivering people, promises and dreams | Thaiger

PHUKET: The recent expansion of the poh thong (pink bus) public transport service to the people of Koh Sireh is not only great news for some of the poorest residents of Phuket Town, but also gives long-suffering tourists an overdue, low-cost travel option.

The latest route’s eastern terminus at Laem Tukkae will be a blessing for many, from the poor sea gypsy community there to the guests at the upscale Westin Siray Bay resort who want to explore the city’s many interesting sites in an authentic and comfortable way.

Until the new service was launched by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) earlier this month, guests at the resort seeking a way into town were forced to pay a “standard fare” of 300 baht (approx US$10.00) for the five-minute trip, with popular destinations such as Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Big C and Tesco Lotus even higher at 400 baht, or 600 baht by van.

Now those wanting to reach these destinations – or just about anywhere else in Phuket Town – will be able do so for 20 baht.

To the best of the Phuket Gazette‘s collective knowledge, this marks the first time guests at a seaside resort hotel in Phuket have been given access to the kind of safe, efficient, reasonably-priced travel options available to people in virtually every other part of the Kingdom outside of Phuket.

Best of all, our visitors will be able to explore the entire town and all of its interesting sites at their leisure, without being continually hounded to buy overpriced jewelry, wooden elephants, massages and trinkets – or being overcharged for rides to ripoff tourist attractions where foreigners are charged 10 times the amount Thais pay.

But while the pink buses are proving to be a big hit with local residents and gaining recognition nationally, after winning an award for “Local Innovation” from the Prime Minister’s Office last year, only a small minority of the passengers who currently use them are foreigners.

The OrBorJor has done a good job of making the service more accessible to foreigners, such as by posting English-language information at bus stops.

Unfortunately, the zig-zagging routes are notoriously difficult to remember. Even lifelong Thai residents of the town, including many senior citizens who would otherwise stand to benefit a great deal from the service, find it nearly impossible to figure out how to get from A to B easily if it involves a transfer.

The Gazette would like to encourage its readers to familiarize themselves with the routes, to begin using the service, and to recommend it to others.

Who knows? Some day we might even see the friendly pink vehicles transporting satisfied tourists around Patong, or between that town and Karon.

Then again, perhaps not – but certainly everyone has a right to dream of the days when Phuket’s tuk-tuk and black taxi gangs are finally off the streets.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime54 mins ago

Fans stage simulation of Tangmo’s death in protest of law activist’s defamation case

Thailand1 hour ago

Thai road sweepers get safer new uniform for work

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand News Today | Police patrol Pattaya Beach looking for guns, booze, prostitutes

Sponsored10 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Phuket2 hours ago

4 Chinese fishermen lost at sea rescued near Phuket

Pattaya2 hours ago

Two lost children found on Pattaya’s Walking Street

Guides2 hours ago

5 underrated apps you need to use in Thailand this year

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket2 hours ago

Cheeky Taoist procession spices up Phuket’s veggie fest

World3 hours ago

Avalanche strikes mountaineering team in Indian Himalayas, 4 killed

Cannabis3 hours ago

Can foreigners legally grow cannabis in Thailand?

Tourism3 hours ago

1-billion-baht tourism stimulus back on track

Thailand3 hours ago

Ordination ceremony concert goes on despite flood

Hot News3 hours ago

Flooding may impact Thailand’s tourism recovery

Road deaths4 hours ago

Young woman killed in hit-and-run in Chon Buri

Hot News4 hours ago

Myanmar youth artists hold art challenge to raise awareness of country’s plight

Entertainment4 hours ago

“One For the Road” film is Thailand’s 25th Oscar attempt

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending