Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations

NEWS ALERTS

Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here

RSS FEEDS

Too many tuk-tuks leave Phuket facing the unhappy consequences

Phuket Tuk-Tuks, Taxis Take Another Spin Around the Block

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
News Analysis

PHUKET: The journey on Phuket to find a solution for public transport continues to turn up blind alleys as tuk-tuk and taxi drivers hold out their hands for special treatment and high fares.

Efforts yesterday were made to begin reforms aimed at making Kata-Karon a role-model for the effective transformation of the tuk-tuk and taxi business on Phuket.

We don't like the chances of change. To be frank, the economics still don't stand close scrutiny. In fact, they don't even deserve a second glance.

This exercise in delicate compromise, like a tuk-tuk with a couple of flat tyres, is a hopeless way of travelling towards the future.

Kata-Karon, along with all of Phuket, simply has too many tuk-tuks and taxis, both legal and illegal.

Driver groups all over Phuket form local community monopolies that protect jobs and income. But these local monopolies fail to take account of the broader picture - the need for Phuket to compete with other holiday destinations.

Just as importantly, the present ''jobs for the boys'' system prevents a proper public transport network being introduced.

A network would benefit not just tourists, but all Thai residents as well.

Perhaps the most pertinent figures on the scale of the problem came yesterday from Somchai Sinlapanon, president of the Kata-Karon Hotels Association.

He said that years ago, back when the association was formed, Kata-Karon had 3000 hotel rooms, 36 longtail boats and 56 tuk-tuks.

Today the region has grown to contain 10,000 rooms. It still has 36 longtail boats. But the number of tuk-tuks and taxis has grown to more than 600, and that figure continues to grow.

He could have added that there is no coordination with other tuk-tuk and taxi groups on Phuket, no sensible standard for quality of vehicles, no way of knowing even whether a driver has a licence.

Regulation and enforcement are not passengers here.

Pornthep Chamkhao, leader of the Karon-Kata Tuk-Tuk Association, largest of the area's two groups, admitted yesterday that he and his members did not welcome controls of any kind.

And his group, dedicated to providing local jobs, aims to keep its membership growing, despite the oversupply and the narrow Kata-Karon streets that make maintaining many taxi and tuk-tuk ranks difficult.

Next week, a special Phuket committee will begin talking to Kata-Karon drivers rank by rank in an effort to persuade them that improved standards will provide them with a better long-term future.

The aim is to eventually issue stickers that will ensure that the drivers and their vehicles at least meet improved standards of dress and behavior.

Any plan that helps to improve standards is good. But even if it helps, this proposal will not come within kilometres of getting Phuket to its rightful destination in the 21st century.
Phuket Tuk-Tuk Coma Wife Tells: 'They Came From 360 Degrees'
Latest The wife of a German man in a coma in a hospital intensive care unit after a bashing by tuk-tuk drivers says she found it difficult to believe such violence over 100 baht.
Phuket Tuk-Tuk Coma Wife Tells: 'They Came From 360 Degrees'

Phuket Tuk-Tuk Blockaders Consider Their Verdict
Latest Four tuk-tuk drivers, wanted over a street blockade in Patong, have surrendered to police but are now considering whether or not they should plead guilty and accept a fine.
Phuket Tuk-Tuk Blockaders Consider Their Verdict

Phuket Tuk-Tuk, Taxi Drivers to Pioneer 'Quality' Campaign
Latest Stickers are to be added to some approved taxis and tuk-tuks on Phuket to reassure tourists about safety and set prices, a Phuket vice governor has revealed.
Phuket Tuk-Tuk, Taxi Drivers to Pioneer 'Quality' Campaign

Phuket Governor Warns on Jet-Skis, Suggests Broader Ambassadors' Summit
Latest Phuket Governor Tro Augkaradacha has issued a warning to jet-ski operators and suggested that ambassadors could be involved in a broader ''summit'' on Phuket's future needs.
Phuket Governor Warns on Jet-Skis, Suggests Broader Ambassadors' Summit

Powerful Phuket Committees to Probe Taxis, Tuk-Tuks and other Phuket Issues
Latest Some of Phuket's most respected businesspeople were at the first gathering of the Governor's Advisors, which aims to end tourism rip-offs and lift Phuket socially and economically.
Powerful Phuket Committees to Probe Taxis, Tuk-Tuks and other Phuket Issues

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

gravatar

They get one fare a day at an inflated price of 500thb and afterwards they can relax and gamble and drink with their friends.
No wonder there's so many of them and they are so protective of their status.

Posted by Peter Tudders on August 30, 2011 22:59

gravatar

This says it all, they only want what they want and don't care about anyone or anything else. At the end of the day, shouldn't the Phuket administrators be controlling taxis and such on the entire island?
There must be an overall governing body that allows this to happen.

If the government had any guts and morals it would have stopped it ever getting out of control.

Posted by Tbs on August 30, 2011 23:10

gravatar

the tuk-tuk guys dont want any control its means what they want they can do, high price.in whole world, i have never seen this kind of taxi rules, Thai govt.why not doing any thing?

Posted by john on August 31, 2011 02:08

gravatar

It's truly galling that these TT drivers don't realize they are killing the golden goose by their me me me attitude and their disgusting behavior towards the paying public. this EMBARRASMENT is being flashed around travel sites and notice boards around the world. BANGKOK, DO SOMETHING.

Posted by Scunner on August 31, 2011 02:42

gravatar

Sigh! And sigh again! It is not only fares, some drivers really do not know about their own towns and where fairly well-known hotels are actually located e.g. Poppa Palace in Patong, hotels in the main part of Patong.

Posted by rfdunedin on August 31, 2011 04:18

gravatar

The special committee talking with the tuk tuk and taxi ranks needs to be the army. The govenment and police do nothing.
That's the only way it will ever get fixed.

Posted by Billy on August 31, 2011 04:29

gravatar

The government, local or national, should just promote open and fair competition, introduce local buses between all the major resort towns and stringently enforce safety standards. Let the Tuk Tuk "boys" compete with metered taxis and comfortable local buses and let the market decide what is the best alternative. No limits should be introduced, the number of TukTuks/taxis/and local buses will in the end come to a sustainable level if market forces are allowed to be unleashed. A number of people will of course be forced out of business, but so what? This is just a natural side effect of being too expensive or lazy or just incompetent. Any unlawful cartels should be crushed together with illegal use of parking space and so on. We dont need limits, we need laws that are enforced and free competition, the rest will take care of itself really.

Posted by christian on August 31, 2011 04:30

gravatar

LOL.. They can't even get them to agree to a standard of dress and behavior, to get a certified sticker !!

I mean talk about baby steps.. If it's not instant gratification and instant profit there is simply no way they will go forward, no compromise, no adjustment.

Posted by LivinLOS on August 31, 2011 12:12

gravatar

I'm beginning to wonder who actual controls this island, the government or the tuk tuks. So glad i don't need to use them or visit the places where they're blocking every parking space possible.

Posted by phuket madness on August 31, 2011 15:10

gravatar

I'm beginning to wonder who actual controls this island, the government or the tuk tuks. So glad i don't need to use them or visit the places where they're blocking every parking space possible.

Posted by phuket madness on August 31, 2011 15:10


Wednesday January 20, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

FOLLOW PHUKETWAN

Facebook Twitter