Connect with us


Opinion: Patong needs to break with tuk-tuk transport

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The introduction of traffic barriers to stop pedestrians crossing Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Road in Patong serves as yet another reminder that the traffic problem in the tourist town could be vastly improved by the introduction of a simple, reasonably-priced public transport system.

Patong Police and Patong Municipality, the forces behind the barrier project, believe that not having pedestrians venture out into the dangerous one-way road will also help ease traffic congestion in the area, which is particularly hazardous late at night due to the level of partying there.

But while these barriers might bring about marginal improvement in traffic flow, the main cause of the traffic problem in Patong could not be more obvious: the ridiculous overabundance of tuk-tuks.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) deserves credit for its unprecedented effort to put illegal transport syndicates and other ‘mafia groups’ and ‘influential figures’ out of business – but there is clearly still a long way to go.

We hope the NCPO’s next public transport initiative for this island will be to launch an honest and genuine public transport option for Patong. All that would be needed is a simple songthaew (passenger truck) or bus service of the kind that is readily available in just about every other major urban area of Thailand – including Pattaya.

These songthaew could go south along Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Road, west toward the beach along Prachanukroh Road, then north along Thaweewong Road (the beachfront road) until they hit Phra Barami Road, then right back to Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Road, completing a loop. Simple.

Such a service would be enormously popular with both tourists and local residents, allowing many to leave their cars or motorbikes at home – without having to deal with rude, price-gouging tuk-tuk drivers or risk their lives on the back of a motorbike taxi. With such a service, traffic congestion would improve immediately.

Of course, the reason such a service has never been launched in Patong is precisely the same reason the traffic is so bad: tuk-tuks – and their self-entitled, thuggish operators who have done so much damage to the island’s tourism industry over the years.

The Department of Land Transport has long stated that it would accommodate any private operators wishing to offer such a service, yet none has thus far dared to incur the wrath of the tuk-tuk cartel.

Patong’s tuk-tuk drivers have stood in the way of progress for decades. They protested the closing of Bangla Road to traffic when the ‘walking street’ was established not long after the tsunami. They also protested the introduction of the one-way road system that went into effect in 2007.

The need for real public transport in Patong is long overdue. The NCPO’s mandate includes restoring social order, rooting out corruption and ‘returning happiness to the people’. There is no better time than now, under the NCPO, to turn the tables on the tuk-tuks and give Patong tourists and residents a new, safe and inexpensive public transport option.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism12 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Crime13 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Phuket14 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Transport16 hours ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Thailand1 day ago

Oct 1 reopening NOT confirmed, Kpop star sparks frenzy for Thai meatballs |Thailand News Today

Hua Hin2 days ago

Final arguments Tuesday on dual pricing suit against Health Ministry

World2 days ago

Texas lawyer dressed as Halloween’s Michael Myers to spread hurricane cheer

Thailand2 days ago

The Last Dance feat. Mike | Thaiger Bites | September 17

Thailand2 days ago

No “October reopening” plan has been approved – CCSA

Thailand2 days ago

Public Health Ministry defends October 1 reopening

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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