Tentative steps toward ending airport taxi deadlock

PHUKET: The Phuket Vehicle Service Co-operative and Confederation (PVSCC) has held its first meeting to try to solve the impasse between airport limousine drivers and meter taxi operators.

The committee comprises members of the Airport Limousine and Business Service Co-operative, Phuket Taxi Service Co-operative (green license plate car service), Phuket Small Four-wheel Co-operative (tuk-tuk service), and Patong Motor Taxi Service. The meeting was on September 22 at Phuket Provincial Hall.

The dispute centers on the number of meter-taxi drivers allowed to operate in the airport area, and their presence in the arrivals terminal.

The Airport Limousine and Business Service Co-operative said its members will improve the quality of their service and follow provincial policies encouraging good relations between the Airport Bus service and VIP limousines.

Manod Chusak, the co-operative’s representative said, “We understand that Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura wants airport passengers to have more choice. Airport buses and VIP limousines have different customers from us, so this will not affect our service. But we are still against setting up meter-taxi counters inside the terminal, and oppose any increase in the number of metered taxis in the airport area.”

“We discovered that one of the Phuket meter-taxi company’s shareholders is the wife of an officer in the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office (PPTO), who helps the company get special offers,” K. Manod alleged.

However, Theerayuth Prasertphol, Chief Technical Officer of the PPTO, told the Gazette that shareholders have no say in the company regarding the number of taxis or the setting up of counters inside the terminal.

At a rowdy public hearing at Phuket Provincial Hall on August 5 it was decided that a committee should be formed to solve disputes between the airport limousine drivers and airport taxi operators.

There are 72 committee members on the PVSCC, which has Phuket Provincial Administration Officer (Palad) Vichan Busapavanich as its president. The committee is charged with policy-making and problem-solving relating to the current impasse, and is required to submit realistic recommendations.

It must report to Gov Udomsak within 30 days of its first meeting.

Phuket News
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