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Ready to roll: The Airport to Patong service started today

Airport Bus Rolls, Reaches Patong Beach

Friday, July 19, 2013
PHUKET: British couple Kim and Ben Webb were the first tourist passengers on today's historic Phuket Airport to Patong beach bus service run.

Although there were only a dozen people on the first bus, including the media, more passengers appeared to be on the second bus.

Others can be expected, if the Webbs are any guide. They chose to wait in the queue for the bus even though it ran 30 minutes late, and even though taxi drivers tried to persuade them to take a faster option.

''We have plenty of time and we are watching our budget, so the bus was good for us,'' Ben said. He and Kim hadn't realised it was the first service.

A group of Chinese tourists, however, tired of waiting and took a taxi.

All of them had simply followed the signs to the stop. The bus left at 9.30 and reached Patong just over an hour later.

There were two local passengers from the airport. The first got off early in Thepkasattri Road and the other one rode on to Boat Lagoon.

There were four stops between the Airport and Patong. Residents are expected to use the service for short trips once they realise it's operating.

A bus driver was accompanied by a conductor, who took the money for the fares.

Driver Roongpet Prammanee, 40, said he was ''a little bit excited and a little bit nervous'' in being the first.

It was decided to take a low-key approach to launching today's service.

With the Department of Special Investigation on Phuket next week to investigate complaints by tourists, the issue of whether tourists queuing for the public bus at the airport should be harassed could be added to the list.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I will be following this story closely. Let the fun and games begin....

Posted by kiwi on July 19, 2013 09:13

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Ed..where exactly in Patong is the stop...at one point in past articles I think you mentioned it would be at banzaan market, then another article stated J J Plaza...just curious

Posted by sky on July 19, 2013 11:11

Editor Comment:

The bus stop is at JJ Plaza, as we reported. The stops were always going to change.

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I am amazed that it has got onto the road. I hope he is safe, he is very brave for sure.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on July 19, 2013 15:45

Editor Comment:

Perhaps you should start reassessing your world of doom, FF.

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Ah yes, the "low-key approach" - announcing it to the media!

Posted by Andy on July 19, 2013 16:39

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It is amazing news, finally it happened, i am exiting to get ride tomorrow from Patong to Aiport, what time the first bus leave from Patong??? and where is the exactly bus stand at Patong??

Posted by SR on July 19, 2013 17:27

Editor Comment:

check the online site.

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Awesome. Its a start, lets hope it continues into a fully blown island wide, multi-stop service. Fingers crossed.

Posted by andy on July 19, 2013 18:12

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Good news for all.
And a special thanks to those who organised this - and well done to the bus drivers; despite all odds.
My tuppence worth: (= two cents)
The bus system needs to have designated stops enroute to Heronines Monument, Boat Lagoon, Tesco, Patong and onwards to Kata.
This will ensure that the busses aren't stopping every five minutes for people to get on and off - but more importantly, the taxi drives will know where to congregate and can now offer an onward trip to passenger's final destination.
A cheaper (quicker?) option for passengers and a win win situation for everybody?

Posted by hkmike on July 19, 2013 20:58

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Great news, I am sick of the crap the meter taxis at the airport come out with to avoid putting the meter on. Get rid of them if they cannot provide the service they advertise.

Posted by Frank Tomenson on July 19, 2013 22:31

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Where can one catch the bus in Patong beach, and what is the schedule?

Posted by Anonymous on July 19, 2013 23:15

Editor Comment:

try phuketairportbusexpress.com

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Website still not fully translated into English. Top bar yes, but details on Timetable not yet.

Posted by GiantFan on July 20, 2013 09:21

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Still no English updates on the website in regards places and time tables. I have written an email twice now, to the contact address, but no reply has come back. Shall we say: lack of education, or just plain laziness and ignorance towards foreigners?

Posted by Charles. on July 20, 2013 09:22

Editor Comment:

Perhaps they know it's you, Charles, a person whose attitude towards everybody is dubious, predetermined by bias, and not worth consideration.

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Was that the most interesting answer you could come up with? Truly the words of a reporter.... Hmmm, a reporter that should stay neutral. I know you are trying to find out what kind of person I am through my comments ( and don't say that you know what kind of person I am ), but a lot of readers are finding out what person you are from your answers here, and this one says a lot about you.

Posted by Charles on July 20, 2013 11:46

Editor Comment:

Your answers are mostly shameful and you have never made any attempt to add anything of value. This is the Comments section, neutrality is not a requirement. Most readers can tell right from wrong and know which way is up. I have no interest in you or anything about you.

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What a great news bus start finally!!!
Hope they have break... (Just kidding)
Concerning "Charles" & "Editor", there is always people who do not think same than you, some people who still dream to expect better (phuket (let's say Thailand will be correct) is the place for no?), I still dream about better place sometimes! not going back to my native country for sure... But moving other place... Just run away from phuket! Tired of all the mess... Tired to see them killing this paradise!
So to go back to the main one, I'm very surprise to read from the Editor "I have no interest in you or anything about you." that is not kind of answer people expect from an editor!
So do not publish comments and do not argue...
I will never take the bus. But I very happy it start finally!! Tourist or not can choose what they want!
Cheers.

Posted by Stef on July 20, 2013 20:41

Editor Comment:

Charles has a history of never having a single positive thing to say, Stef, and I have no interest in the island's no-hopers.They believe nothing will every change, just like the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers. Charles relishes the role.

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Thanks for your explanation, and I agree with. So please next time do not waste your time to answer it like that.
Some are just complainer and never happy.
(Not happy, move...)

Posted by Stef on July 20, 2013 21:35

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I am sure there will be many touts in the airport saying the bus is out of service or that they are the official bus service but still happy to read about this. Maybe metered taxis next?

Posted by Steve on July 21, 2013 08:00

Editor Comment:

A call centre is the answer to Phuket's taxi problems, not metered cabs. Meters can be easily turned off. The big rip-off is the trip the taxi makes to return to base without a passenger. Once taxis can pick up all over the island with the help of a call centre, the rip-off ends and fares are halved immediately.

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I am amazed!
Glad to see that things finally change.

Posted by william on July 21, 2013 13:41


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