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The Phuket airport director hails the arrival of meter taxis today

Phuket Airport Transformed But Crowded as Meter Taxis Take Over

Monday, September 1, 2014
PHUKET: The new meter taxi system was introduced successfully at Phuket International Airport today with a fire hydrant salute and a cry of ''all systems go.''

The airport carpark looked remarkably different, with 10 meter taxis in reserved space close to the terminal and many more not far away.

Moving the saloon cabs and limousines, though, appeared to create a parking overload today with double-parking in every nook and cranny.

There to open the new airport meter taxi system were Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtadav, the Phuket Tourism and Sport Director, Santi Pawai, Airport Director, General Manager Wing Commander Prathuang Somkhom and Phuket Land Transport Department chief Teerayuth Prasertpon, plus a delegation from the Royal Thai Navy, who are overseeing security.

We watched in surprise to see another piece of Phuket history made with apparent ease under the guardianship of the military coup command, who took charge of Thailand on May 22.

Since then, Phuketwan has been witness to remarkable changes, including the clearing of all beaches of sunbeds and umbrellas and the arrests of scores of taxi and tuk-tuk drivers for alleged extortion, intimidation and participation in blockades.

Tourists won't recognise the old Phuket when they arrive on the island and find they are able to hail a taxi and go to a Phuket beach that looks almost the way nature intended.

Comments

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"Moving the saloon cabs and limousines, though, appeared to create a parking overload today with double-parking in every nook and cranny."

I thought the non-meter cabs were only to be let in a few at a time, and had to wait outside the airport to be called?

Posted by phonus on September 1, 2014 10:39

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Hallelujah !!
Does anyone have any idea what the rates are? what the fare from the airport to Patong would be for example? Last "meter" taxi I took form the airport( last month) cost almost 800 baht!
Tom

Posted by tom on September 1, 2014 12:33

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All positive changes, nice too see..

Posted by Robert on September 1, 2014 12:59

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:)

Posted by NomadJoe on September 1, 2014 13:19

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And not a call centre in sight?

Posted by phonus on September 1, 2014 14:00

Editor Comment:

What would be the point of having a call centre at an airport?

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Is the current system for taxis and mini-buses from off-Phuket like Khao Lak where they have to transfer passengers and their luggage outside the airport to another mini-bus to be dropped off at the Departures door to become a permanent feature?

Posted by Alan on September 1, 2014 14:40

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At 11:00 I only noticed that my Disabled Parking Spot was occupied by some BoBo's.

Posted by PhuketDisabled on September 1, 2014 14:50

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Excellent start!!! Will anyone ask when they will normalize the metered rate comparable with BKK?

Posted by rc on September 1, 2014 15:25

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PhuketDisabled, maybe the bobo was disabled too. In Thailand you never know. A couple of month ago at Tesco Lotus car park, I was standing for more than one hour looking at Disabled Carpark spot. Not one person parked at these spots was more disabled than me. I play golf 3 times a week PCC, and they do not have golfcarts.

Posted by Retired Roadworker on September 1, 2014 15:37

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The airport carpark is still a major problem which the army needs to look at.
When I was there last week, there were between 200 and 300 vans taking up just about every available parking spot.
Even the "double-parking" was at almost maximum occupancy, although there were relatively few people inside the airport.
Is the taxi mafia deliberately clogging up the car park to force people to use taxis?

Posted by Phil on September 1, 2014 15:42

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"they have to transfer passengers and their luggage outside the airport to another mini-bus to be dropped off at the Departures door"

If you take a legal minibus (yellow plated) in Khao Lak you can go directly to departures.

Posted by stevenl on September 1, 2014 15:46

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so with the new rates for meter cabs...we're looking at about 450 baht from airport to Patong..including 100 baht surcharge...does that sound about right?

Posted by sky on September 1, 2014 16:25

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This is really happening...I cant believe my eyes infact im in tears to believe such change could ever happen..

Posted by Andrew Ronayne on September 1, 2014 16:59

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Just came back from Bangkok. Took a meter cab at the airport to BIG C at Central Festival. I paid THB 660,- which is including THB 100,- airport surcharge. Before I could go at a fixed price for THB 550,-.

I am happy meters are in use but I don't believe the rate should stay that high.

BTW: I asked the driver if he is picking up people on the way back, but he said he and his colleagues are too scared and prefer not to pick up anyone, especially in Kata / Karon / Patong / Rawai area.

Posted by Jakub on September 1, 2014 18:10

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Ed - A while back you said the prices will be halved, has this happened?
Also is there anywhere on the web that now shows the Official Prices - as I have stated many times, it was more than 600 Baht from the Airport to Central - Which is the same as the old limo's.

Posted by Tbs on September 1, 2014 22:12

Editor Comment:

I said the fares should be halved. It's too early to speculate about what could happen to the fares in meter cabs.

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@ Jakub

Yes the price is still outrageous. Until it goes back to 450 or so to get to Patong, I will take an airport limmo for 800. The cars are new, clean and have working aircon. Too many times I have (not in the recent past) taken a meter cab to spend an hour sitting in a smelly hot cramped backseat with a noisy exhaust. And I get a receipt from the limmo ....

Posted by geoff on September 2, 2014 07:58

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So the promise of an island wide metered taxi service has resulted in just yet more AIRPORT taxis, which were there before anyway, but now more of them and more expensive. Meanwhile, for the actual residents/tourists here nothing's changed. After all, they'd have to keep fares affordable for their fellow Thais, same Bangkok, and that would never do, would it.

Posted by jonty on September 2, 2014 18:57

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@Geoff

To be fair, the taxi was brand new, clean, fresh. The driver well groomed in clean uniform, polite, cut nails, didn't speed, name tag with license on the display. Emergency and complaint contact number. That's a huge improvement.

Posted by Jakub on September 3, 2014 09:24


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