PUKET: Karon Municipality is compiling a list of fares charged by tuk-tuk drivers operating in the Kata–Karon area in order to establish an agreed schedule of standard fares to be shown – and charged – in the popular tourist beach areas.
The draft schedule is the first step in a new public relations campaign to build tourist confidence in local tuk-tuk drivers.
The goal is to have tuk-tuks carrying stickers featuring the set prices and the motto, “This tuk-tuk is safe to ride in”.
“Having tuk-tuk safety certificates is the idea of Phuket Vice Governor Nivit Aroonrat,” Phuket Provincial Land Transport Chief Teerayut Prasertpol told the Phuket Gazette.
“He saw many groups of tuk-tuks in front of hotels in Karon and he wants to bring them under provincial administration.
“We have assigned Karon Municipality to make this happen,” he said.
Chief Teerayut explained that the municipality is currently compiling a list of where the major tuk-tuk ranks in Kata-Karon are located and what fares drivers working from those ranks are charging.
“When we have all the information, the provincial administrators can proceed with drafting the schedule,” he said.
“This is so we can start moving toward having standard rules to be adhered to in order for drivers to be issued a certificate. The rules will also require that the drivers be dressed appropriately, that they drive safely, and that they be polite.
“Only then can the drivers put the stickers on their tuk-tuks,” Chief Teerayut said.
The Phuket Transport Office and Karon Municipality are scheduled to meet on August 28.
“We’ll see then what the next step will be,” Chief Teerayut said.
In Patong, however, Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao knew nothing of this latest development.
“I have not had any reports of this idea yet, but I will look into it,” he told the Gazette last week.
Mardlee “Bang Lee” Sawangpon, who acts as the apparent spokesperson for one of the largest tuk-tuk driver cartels in Patong, said, “Patong has not even started taking any similar steps yet. If I get the chance I’ll bring this up with Maj Gen Pekad [the superintendent of Phuket Provincial Police].”
— Chutharat Plerin
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