PHUKET: The new terminal for inter-provincial buses will open for service in October, Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) Chief Kanok Siripanichkorn has told the Gazette.
Work on the 128-million-baht facility was completed in early December last year, but the station has sat idle ever since.
“Bus terminals like this are usually handed over to local organizations to manage. Initially, Rassada Municipality accepted operation of the terminal, but later they said they had problems with obtaining the budget to do so. So we will run the new terminal until the municipality is ready to do it,” he explained.
Accepting responsibility to run the terminal, albeit temporarily, required the PLTO to prepare their own budget and administration to accommodate the new role, which added to the delay, Mr Kanok said.
The only exit from the new terminal is into the southbound lane of Thepkrasattri Rd, meaning that the buses will have to keep left and continue past the traffic lights before making a U-turn near the Vanich Mansion before heading north to get off the island.
“There will be traffic jams as Phuket already has a lot of cars, but we will wait and see and solve the problem then,” he said.
“For example, in Nakhon Ratchasima they have cut the median strip and installed traffic lights so buses can make U-turns, but we cannot do that here because local residents do not agree to it. We must respect public opinion.”
The new terminal will serve all inter-provincial buses, except some routes to Phang Nga.
The old terminal on Phang Nga Rd in Phuket Town will continue to serve buses to destinations on the island such as Patong, Thalang and Rawai, as well as buses to Takuapa and elsewhere in Phang Nga.
The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization’s pink bus route 2, which has the nearby Supercheap shopping complex as its terminus, can be used by passengers wanting to travel between the new and the old bus station.
— Atchaa Khamlo
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