Airport limo operators slam “black’ taxis

PHUKET AIRPORT: Legitimate limousine operators fed up with illegal “black taxis” taking business from them at the airport protested today to the Phuket office of the Airports Authority of Thailand (AAT). Representatives of the Phuket Limousine and Business Service Cooperative Ltd (PBC), led by Vitoon Sae’iw, the organization’s secretary, presented the AAT with a video that they said shows the black taxis at work, and the aggressiveness of the touts working for them. The cooperative has also sent copies of the video and complaint letter to the Ta Chat Chai Police, the Governor of Phuket and the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office. The PBC, which has 71 members with 85 cars, pays just under 450,000 baht a month for an exclusive concession to carry passengers to and from the airport. But now, said K. Vitoon, there are 34 black taxis operating illegally at the airport. He alleged, “These taxi operators are backed up by the members of the Tambon Saku Administrative Council (OrBorTor). “We have to pay a concession to the Phuket AAT. We follow all the AAT regulations, including wearing uniforms, organizing queues, collecting money, using only white limousines with a PBC symbol, and having proper insurance coverage. “But the black taxis don’t follow any rules, and this creates a bad image and confusion among tourists.” He said that touts for the black taxis routinely “steal” customers from the PBC by offering them fares that are much lower. But in many cases, when the customer goes to the car, he finds that the driver isn’t willing to go at the agreed price. The customer then expects PBC to take him at the low price. “This makes it very confusing for the customers,” said K. Vitoon. The PBC has been complaining about the problem since last year, he said, “but they have done nothing, even though we pay them money every month.” Charn Jeamjaroen, deputy director of the Phuket AAT, told the Gazette that he was waiting for his superior, Suthara Huangsuwan, to return from Bangkok next week. “After that, we will discuss this problem with the Phuket Provincial Office and the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office to try to resolve it. “We have tried to look into this problem before, but the black taxis continue to operate illegally,” said K. Charn. “We can’t manage the transportation system ourselves, so it’s difficult to have a good operation,” he added.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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