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Phuket’s transport evolution

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PHUKET: The long awaited new Airport Express bus service between Phuket Airport and the island’s premier party and entertainment town, Patong, started to roll last Friday, four days later than expected.

“We thought we could start on July 15, but we had to push the launch date back,” Mr Prakob Panyawai, the owner of the bus operating company, explained, adding that the extra time was necessary to take care of all the details.

“We have finished the graphic art for the posters to be displayed at the bus stops and sent it to a shop for processing and printing.”

Each of the nine bus stops will display a map of the bus route, a picture of the bus, the company website address and contact phone numbers.

Passengers will be able to board the buses at the following stops:

  • Phuket Airport: under the pedestrian bridge to Terminal 2
  • Muang Mai: in front of the Highway Police checkpoint
  • Thalang: in front of Thalang Police Station
  • Tesco Lotus Thalang
  • Tah Reua: at the Heroines Monument bus stop
  • Koh Kaew: in front of the Boat Lagoon
  • Bypass Rd: at Billion Assets Plaza on Phra Phuket Kaew Rd (to Patong)
  • Thung Thong: in front of the Caltex gas station
  • Patong: in front of JJ Plaza behind Jungceylon

The buses will only stay for 10 minutes at the final stop before departing. They will also not be allowed to pick up people from anywhere else in Patong. The prices of tickets will range from 50 to 150 baht.

With the bus stops ready in place, the vehicles checked and registered and all the safety issues addressed, all that’s left to do is promote the project.

“All the buses have been checked at the PLTO and have passed inspection. However, the final details of the marketing campaign are still being drawn up. All this should be finished soon,” added Mr Prakob.

The beginnings of the service will be modest, with just six buses operating, but Mr Prakob is full of hope for the future.

“It has taken months to get to this point, I want to see the buses on the roads as soon as possible. Once we have the Patong route, we can expand the service to include routes from the airport to Rawai and Kamala,” he said.

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