Airport to get meter taxis, eventually
PHUKET: Piyapan Jampasut, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Land Transport (DLT) for Thailand, has announced that new regulations are to be proposed to Cabinet that would open the door for regulated, meter cabs in Phuket, starting with the airport. K. Piyapan made the announcement after meeting with Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi to discuss what laws need to be changed. The main proposed change in the law is to allow cars up to seven years old to be registered as meter cabs. The law currently stipulates that registered meter taxis may not be more than two years old or have traveled more than 20,000 kilometers. This automatically excludes most – if not all – of the “black” taxis and “limousines” operating at Phuket airport. However, K. Piyapan explained that the process would take a few months because the DLT must submit the proposed changes to Cabinet for approval. He added that any redrafted regulations would not be implemented with immediate effect out of consideration for other transport workers. “I don’t want this to affect tuk-tuk or sorng taew drivers,” he said. Gov Pongpayome agreed, saying that metered airport taxis would reduce exorbitant fares and problems between legitimate and black taxi operators at the airport. Eighteen months ago an airport limousine driver was beaten to death over a fare, resulting in a 300-strong mob demanding that Gov Pongpayome provide greater regulation and protection of legitimate taxi drivers.
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