Sections: Phuket

Limo drivers make concessions to keep concession

THALANG: The Phuket Limousine and Business Services Cooperative (PBC) has won the concession to continue serving Phuket International Airport.

In return, however, the PBC has been forced to agree to improve its level of service and has had to drop its long-standing opposition to service desks inside the arrivals terminal for the rival meter-taxis and Airport Bus service.

The conditions were laid down by the Airports Authority of Thailand as part of its conditions for approving the PBC’s new one-year concession to serve the airport, effective July 1.

PBC Secretary Niphon Piromrit explained that the cooperative had agreed to a 10% price hike for the exclusive rights to operate a limousine service at the airport, which this year will cost the organization more than 1.3 million baht a month.

“Now we are trying to improve our service, which should help us to get a three-year concession,” he said.

Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Assistant (Palad) Nivit Aroonrat said, “My understanding is that the reason given [by the AAT] was that the limousine service in Phuket is not professional and is still not good enough.

“But if the PBC keeps working toward … a good level of service, I think the AAT will renew its concession [next year] without any problem,” he said.

As part of its drive to improve its service to passengers, the PBC yesterday launched a series of half-day driver-training sessions. Each PBC driver must attend three sessions in order to ensure he receives lessons in how to be service-minded and more helpful to tourists, and how to promote tourist attractions.

The training sessions also include refresher courses on the AAT’s rules for operating at the airport and a brush-up on traffic regulations.

“I believe the PBC will do this well because it really want to improve its service. Its members are working hard toward raising their organization to a professional standard,” Palad Nivit said.

He explained that he has yet to arrange a meeting to discuss installing the meter-taxi and Airport Bus service counters.

“But at the moment all of them accept in principle that they will have to live with, share with and help each other,” he said.

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