PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Limousine and Business Services Cooperative Ltd (PBC) is to have its concession to operate limousines at the airport renewed, but members will have to agree to a number of conditions.
The news came after both the PBC and the Airports Authority of Thailand (AAT) asked the provincial authorities to intercede in negotiations. The current concession agreement is due to expire at the end of this month and the PBC had been concerned that the AAT would not extend it.
The announcement was made by Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Assistant (Palad) Nivit Aroonrat at a meeting held on Monday at Phuket Provincial Hall.
“The PBC’s concession will be renewed under the following conditions: First, the PBC must accept price controls imposed by the province; second, it must accept a meter-taxi desk at the airport; third, it must agree to the low-cost bus service for the airport; and finally, it must improve standards of service,” said K. Nivit.
“There can be no more incidents of passengers being taken on detours to shops or dropped off only halfway to their destinations,” he warned.
“The PBC will have to sign the agreement within the next couple of days. They have said, however, that before they sign they want assurances about where the meter-taxi and bus stands will be located, and guarantees that the number of competing taxis will not be increased.
“I have assigned the AAT to sort out these issues,” he added.
“If the limousine service is to be expected to lower its prices, then the AAT must also agree to lower the concession fee. However, at the moment, the AAT is waiting for instructions from its head office in Bangkok,” K. Nivit explained.
“Today I assigned the AAT and the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office to draft a list of the conditions the PBC must agree to. We will then meet again to sign the agreement,” he concluded.
Niphon Piromrit, Secretary of the PBC, told the Gazette, “We asked for provincial help because we heard that the AAT might not renew our concession because they wanted to hold an auction for transport services at the airport. They also complained about our service.
“We were very concerned because, if the AAT did not renew the concession, it would cause many problems for the limousine service. We have about 200 people working for us whose jobs would be under threat.
“In the meeting, we promised to make the improvements. The limousine prices, for the moment, will remain unchanged, however. We haven’t increased our charges in line with fuel price rises, so we cannot afford to lower them, but we may be able to arrange special promotions for certain passengers,” K. Niphon added.
“We will have to negotiate the concession price with AAT. As for the other transport services at the airport, such as the bus and meter-taxis, the provincial authorities and AAT will assign a place for them that can be agreed upon by every party,” he concluded.
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