Meter taxis “forced to raise fares’
PHUKET TOWN: Fares for longer trips in meter taxis have risen substantially because, the cab company says, it continues to be denied the right to pick up passengers from the airport. Patipol Prakobtan, manager of Phuket Taxi Meter Co, explained, “We have made no profit because we haven’t been granted permission to set up a booth at the airport.” The company’s long-standing request for space to park taxis and serve customers arriving in Phuket would be renewed through Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi, he said. “I think we should have the right to do business at the airport,” he added. The new fares are calculated using Phuket Town as a base. Meters are used for trips of less than 10 kilometers, but beyond that, higher rates are agreed before departure. “For example, to go to the airport from Phuket Town, [the fare on the meter is] about 150 baht,” K. Patipol said. “But we can’t pick up customers from the airport, so our taxis return empty. “That wastes time and fuel, so we have raised the price for a trip to the airport to 250 baht.” The new rates have been posted, in Thai and English, in each taxi and at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in Phuket Town. “I apologize for any inconvenience but we guarantee that if we receive an appropriate answer [from the authorities], we will be back to our normal pricing,” he said. The company has been operating since April.
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