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Phuket Smart Bus kicks off

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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The first route of the Phuket Smart Bus has been launched today (February 28) connecting Phuket International Airport all the way to the south of the island – Rawai Beach.

The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Panupong Sawetarun, chaired the opening ceremony of the Phuket Smart Bus. The first route launched today is the blue route, which will be running along the western beach road.

The blue route from Phuket International Airport to Rawai has 50 stops at many popular areas, including Surin Beach, Kamala Beach, Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach before reaching Rawai by the beach road, covering a total of 56 kilometres. There will be 32 rounds of service per day, starting from 6am to 8pm. The estimated traveling time for each bus along the route is 2-3 hours.

The project is the initiative of Phuket City Development Co., Ltd. (PKCD) partnering with Rabbit x Phuket Smartcard for ‘smart’ payment. The buses feature a safety control room, GPS system, CCTV camera, Wi-Fi, USB port at each seat and a lift for disabled passengers. People can go to www.choop.me to plan their travel ahead as well.

“Phuket is a world tourism destination drawing a large number of travelers but still lacks proper public transportation. To travel from the airport to Phuket town or to the beaches should take about 1-2 hours because of the traffic jams which affect the tourism situation in Phuket. The smart bus is part of the longer-term solution for this,” said Watchara Jaruariyanon, Board of Directors of PKCD.

Phuket Smart Bus kicks off | News by Thaiger

“We only use brand new buses from Mercedes because we trust the quality of the engines and braking systems and provide more space for luggage.”

“People can pay the bus fee through Rabbit x Phuket Smartcard instead of cash. The fee starts at 50 Baht – 170 Baht depending on the distance. The ticket (Rabbit x Phuket Smartcard) can be bought on board with a starting price of 300 Baht (100 Baht for the card fee and 200 Baht to pay for the bus fee). The money in the card can also pay for other products and services with promotions and special discounts at more than 60 leading stores across Phuket that accept the Rabbit Card. The card is also valid for transportation, products and services in Bangkok,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PKCD also cooperates with Visa Card, who is becoming an official partner.

“Payment is a significant factor of transportation and Visa aims to make it fast, convenient and safe for any type of transportation. There are plenty of public transportations across the globe that started using the open loop system,” said Visa Thailand Manager, Suripong Tantiyanon.

“The passengers don’t need to buy a new ticket nor to refill money in the card. It’s easier and safer for their confidential information. In London, the system has been used for 3 years already and Visa is glad to help make Phuket becoming a Smart City.”

Phuket Smart Bus kicks off | News by Thaiger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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