The breakthrough became apparent when Phuketwan reporters noticed several metered cabs with their 'available' lights switched on along Phuket's west coast yesterday.
It's a bold move that demonstrates change is coming on Phuket.
The island's 110 meter taxi drivers now feel that they have sufficient support from authorities to turn on their signs and encourage customers to hail them.
That's the way it works in most places around the world. But Phuket's tuk-tuk and taxi monopolies have terrified the meter taxi drivers - until now.
''Yes, meter cabs are 'FREE' to hail and hire anywhere on Phuket,'' the head of the meter taxis, Suthin Jampatong, confirmed today.
''Before, the drivers were scared to turn on the lights. Now, we know we have widespread support.''
The Department of Special Investigation announced a widespread anti-corruption inquiry with the arrival of a special team on August 9.
Since then progress has been slow but steady.
Airports of Thailand has announced the end of the old taxi group system at Phuket International Airport and the adoption of standard taxi queuing.
Taxi groups that intimidate resorts and allow entry only to chosen vehicles are likely to be the next DSI target.
''We could not pick up customers before out of fear,'' Khun Suthin said. ''Now we will stop to pick up people anywhere on the island, provided it's not too close to any of the other taxi groups.''
Another encouraging sign comes with the postponement of this week's regular Tuesday DSI meeting with Tourism and Sport department officials, Phuket police and the island's administration.
Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud is to join the postponed meeting for the first time on Friday - adding his weight to calls for an end to corruption across the island.
The governor's decision to chair the meeting comes in response to accusations by some of Phuket's leading tourism industry groups that the push for reform did not have the Phuket administration's total support.
His attendance and the metered taxis switching on their lights are signs of real progress.
The cabs have a light on the left-hand side of their windscreens that reads 'FREE' in the Thai language in red when it is turned on.
English-speaking passengers are advised to hail the cabs if they see the light, even if the message is in Thai.
Turning on the meter? That's another matter.
Phuketwan has always been told that the metered cab drivers started negotiating fares instead because Phuket's non-meter taxis were earning considerably more that way.
Now, with preference being shown by the airport managers and all Phuket authorities for metered taxis, the switch appears to be back to support for more meters.
However, Khun Suthin said today that it was often the fault of passengers in the past that meters had not been turned on.
''Some of the tourists come from countries where fares are negotiated and that's what they prefer,'' he said. ''Our drivers did it for their passengers, even though it breached the law.''
He said it was a good idea to push for more metered taxis on Phuket, but he had some reservations about converting all taxis to meters.
''Some people are happy with the limousine style ride,'' he said. ''Others prefer to hop into a minivan with other people.
''The metered taxis are in between. We don't want to change too much. But we are happy with the new pickup system. ''
The biggest complaint from tourists remains having to pay for the trip they don't make.
Phuket's non-meter taxis and tuk-tuks charge customers for the trip that the vehicles make back to their original base, empty.
Non-metered taxis are not yet permitted to make pickups across the island - a move that, at least in theory, should cut existing fares in half.