PHUKET TOWN: The cramped and dingy inter-provincial bus terminal on Phang Nga Rd is likely to make way soon for a more modern, spacious station in a different location. Provinical Transportation Office (PPTO) Chief Prasit Amarapal told the Gazette today that alternatives were being considered with interested parties scheduled to meet Vice-Governor Winai Buapradit within weeks to discuss the change. A budget of 38 million baht for the new terminal has been proposed – though not approved – and it is not clear yet where the money will come from. A new site is being considered on 12 rai donated by the Boat Lagoon on the Tungka-Sapam Rd. K. Prasit said that the existing Phang Nga Rd terminal was on two rai. Last year more than 2.2 million people used the terminal and the PPTO collected more than 700,000 baht in fees. But the existing area is too small, with narrow roads and encroachment by shops. “When Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak visited Phuket, he suggested that bus companies operating at the terminus should pay for the construction of a new bus station,” K. Prasit explained. If a new terminal were built, the old one could be used for buses connecting Phuket Town and other island locations. “Now we can see many local buses parking along Ranong Rd because they don’t have a specific place to park,” K. Prasit said.
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