Connect with us

Phuket

Officials admit fear of reprisals killing Phuket bus plans

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Top Phuket officials have openly admitted that fear of reprisals by taxi and tuk-tuk drivers is preventing people from launching affordable bus services between Phuket’s main tourist beaches.

Phuket Vice Governor Weerawat Janpen yesterday chaired a meeting at the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) to discuss strategies to resolve the decades old problem of tourists being cheated by “transportation operators” in Phuket.

Wanta Phummararossukon, who holds the position of “Special Scholar” at the PLTO, explained that his office is currently open to receive applications to run concessions on three bus routes as follows:

  • 1. Phuket Airport to Phuket Bus Terminal (on Phang Nga Rd in Phuket Town)
  • 2. Phuket Airport to Kamala / Patong / Kata / Karon
  • 3. Phuket Airport to destinations within Patong

Two other routes are currently under consideration:

  • 4. Phuket Airport to Patong – Kata – Karon
  • 5. Phuket Airport to Rawai Beach

“Route 1 is already in service, but routes 2 and 3 cannot be because whenever someone tries, the taxi and tuk-tuk [people] ‘do something against us’.

“No concession companies dare face them,” Mr Wanta said.

“Another issue is illegal taxis. We are planning resolve the black-plate taxi problem by having them brought into the system and registered, perhaps enticed by being included in a single-number call center for all taxis.

“We will have each authority be strict in their duty and arrest those not abiding by the law,” Mr Wanta added.

Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukkaban said he had heard that some companies were interested and ready to run bus services on routes 2 and 3, but they were afraid of “the influence”.

To counter the fear, he called on unity among relevant authorities to make sure operators were protected.

“The Land Transport Office, Phuket police and local administration organizations must act together. They must be strict in asserting their authority; they must enforce the law as they are empowered and obligated to do; and they must make sure there is nothing hidden in the law enforcement,” Mr Chairat said.

“To have the routes in service, it is our responsibility to ensure the concession companies do not have to face ‘the influence’ all alone,” he added.

Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) chief Teerayout Prasertphol agreed in part, but asked the big question: who was going to stand up to those who currently rule Phuket’s public transportation system.

“The most important thing is who is going to take care of this problem? I suggest local authorities as an option,” Mr Teerayout said.

To this, Phuket Tourist Association Vice President Sarayuth Mallam said, “The Land Transportation Office does not need to ‘transfer’ this responsibility to anyone else – this is your responsibility.

“Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers fear no one, except for you – because you issue the license plates that allow their cars on the road. Sorting this problem out is your responsibility.”

Mr Sarayuth added that one of the major obstacles was that some persons in positions of authority had relations – literally – with the people involved.

“Some of them are their relatives or friends,” he said.

“Another problem is that metered taxis can’t even drive around the island because of taxi and tuk-tuk drivers. I would like to ask the authorities to have public transportation able to drive anywhere on the island,” he said.

“By the way, it does not matter what great plans we have when the authorities do not fulfill their duties. Illegal taxis must be brought into the system. You can probably give them a period of time – like 30 days – to register. After that, get strict on them,” he said.

Vice Governor Weerawat added, “This is all about law enforcement. All of this can be done by the authorities…

“What about we work on these problems and have the next meeting in another two weeks to see what progress has been made?”

— Chutharat Plerin

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Northern Thailand6 hours ago

Meteor causes explosion, green glow above Northern Thailand

Hua Hin8 hours ago

Elephant that broke into Hua Hin kitchen now in memes and ads

Tourism9 hours ago

Phuket governer reviews rules, new details for July 1 arrivals

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Shipment of 2 million Sinovac vaccines arrive from China

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Autopsy requested for young policeman with vaccine

Thailand13 hours ago

Despite corruption allegations, street lamp project continues in Samut Prakan

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox is GO, vaccine cocktails, US warning on Thai travel | June 23

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 Provinces to visit near Bangkok

Tourism14 hours ago

CCSA gives details on “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” travel schemes

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 Cities to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Gap between AstraZeneca vaccines cut from 16 to 12 to 8 weeks

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 Steakhouses in Bangkok

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 Pubs in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Daily death count hits record high; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

US is “unable” to provide Covid-19 vaccines to Americans who live overseas

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending