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Governor Maitree explains the new coding system for Phuket taxis

Phuket Metered Cab Fares Likely to Rise

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
PHUKET: A rise in the fares for Phuket's metered taxis should be considered because fares hadn't risen in 10 years, Governor Maitree Intrusud said today.

He said, however, that it was probably too early to talk about the prospect of metered taxis being called to make pickups at resorts.

Governor Maitree told the meeting - a fortnightly session at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City on tourism - that he had paid several visits to the airport recently.

He could see it was too small and too crowded, and there were too many taxi drivers waiting for new arrivals and too little space for passengers.

Phuket's airport was, he said, ''very different from other airports.''

What pleased him, though, was that in talking to a succession of about 10 tourists he found that none of them had real complaints about Phuket.

Using a whiteboard, the governor explained the plan to separate groups of taxis so that Group A would be for limos, Group B for taxis with GPS, Group C would be for minivans and Group D would be for local vehicles, including the Patong-Airport bus and Phuket City's local buses.

Some taxi drivers needed to retire, he said, and the new taxi drivers needed to be well-dressed, to have good manners and a cheerful personality.

All problems relating to tourism should be directed to him, the governor said. One of the complaints of the European Union ambassadors, he said, was that problems were addressed too slowly.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


another uninformed comment from a man who has probably never had to take a taxi on phuket...

Posted by another steve on August 14, 2013 15:55


Does he know the fares being charged at the moment? Doesn't sound like it, they have almost doubled in the last 2 years.

Posted by stevenl on August 14, 2013 15:56

Editor Comment:

metered taxis?


Of course the cost of metered taxis have risen. This is because none of them use the meter anymore.

Obviously, these drivers want the meter price to rise so that if they do use the meter, they will get the equivalent of what they charge now.

Not a single mention of bringing prices down to Bangkok levels. Not one.

I remain a doomsayer and pessimist.

Posted by sir burr on August 14, 2013 16:04


Were there metered taxis 10 years ago? Didn't think they'd been on the Island that long.

Directing comments to the Governor, I don't really think is the answer. At the end of the day, he doesn't have the power needed to action a great deal on the Island... hence the DSI have arrived to action the tough stuff.

Surely direct all complaints/ issues to them would likely be more effective (with the Governor kept in the loop, of course).

It is sad though that the Governor needs to explain the A,B,C,D system which doesn't actually fix any known problem. Sounds more like a PR stunt to gain some attention. Could the civil servants please for a few months at least just focus on the problems and make some headway. Real headway.

Posted by Duncan on August 14, 2013 16:24


How on earth are we meant to take comments from the informed seriously, this will be another cyclone of hot air with little or no action except that fares will increase yet again to levels exceeding Bkk by more than 100%, democracy alive and well***I think not.

Posted by coxo on August 14, 2013 16:24


Governor Maitree does not understand that Phuketians, expats and tourists want a mass transit system with air-conditionned buses and all tuk-tuks and taxis with taximeters to avoid conflicts with rogue taxi-drivers.
May Phuketwan recommand to Phuket governor and civil servants to read all comments on the online forums in order they understood the wish of the silent majority.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 14, 2013 16:27


normally the price should increase every year, so it's just fair if it increases now ten times over the remaining year to catch up with international standards.

Posted by risen on August 14, 2013 16:30


"metered taxis?"

Yes, charge to Kata used to be around 400 + 100 airport charge, now the total charge is normally 800 Baht.

Posted by stevenl on August 14, 2013 16:38


At the beginning of the last high season the meter taxi stand attendants at the airport told me that they no longer use the meter and the flat fare to Rawai was 600 baht. My recent experience this rainy season was that they were back to using the meters, but charging 100 baht service fee up front, and then the meter to Rawai seemed to move rather quickly and read 800 baht upon delivery. So 900 baht total, a 50% fare increase in 8 months.

Posted by Treelover on August 14, 2013 16:49


What a load of nonsense! Taxi fares haven't risen in 10 years? Total cowpat from an uninformed individual who needs to consider permanent retirement himself. Preferably leave the island & take all similar with him.

Posted by Logic on August 14, 2013 16:58


well this certainly puts a big dent in the recent move by DSI to straighten things out here...Chalk one up for the Doomsayers!

Posted by zig on August 14, 2013 17:56

Editor Comment:

Perhaps not. Some might see it as an incremental step towards all Phuket taxis perhaps adopting meters. Remember, all contracts at the airport end August 30. September 1 marks a new dawn.


Wow I must admit I was wrong when I said nothing will change ....and you wonder why there are so many doomsayers on Phuket?

Posted by Chalongian on August 14, 2013 18:04


For sure. the meter Taxi has been increased and that also quite recently. Few month ago I took a meter Taxi from the Airport to my home in Kathu. It cost 320 on the meter + 100. Last week I did the same trip again 530 + 100. The Governor have no clue what he is talking about. If I remember correctly also no meter Taxi 10 years ago.

Posted by MJ on August 14, 2013 18:09


Improve driving standards, install cameras at red lights, speed cameras, implement new motoring insurance laws - penalise the driver - not the smoke belching car - and allocate the income from fines to improve road safety. It's not doomsayer - it's reality. Nothing is going to change while people insist on lining their own pockets. Thai culture - sabai sabai and wait for a better cards next time around. Sorry to be negative.

Posted by Gee on August 14, 2013 18:34


It is already 100 baht plus 18 baht per km. How can this be even more?
People thing Metered Taxi's will be cheaper, but they worked out the same as a limousine Taxi.
As stated before - Airport to Tesco Lotus Bypass was 520 baht PLUS 100 baht at the airport.
They all use LPG which is about 17L/litre and get at least 5 KM per litre.

Posted by Tbs on August 14, 2013 19:16


Very nice that after nearly one year he checked out the most vital infrastructure for Phuket in the time, when the guests actually arrive/leave and not only the VIP exit. Congrats.

Posted by Lena on August 14, 2013 19:36


I have no time for this Governor, least he's making a start by organising them into zones, and giving seminars.
One step at a time. Lets hope the extortionate pricing question is also addressed.Soon.

Posted by jimbo on August 14, 2013 19:51


Number one complaint on Phuket are extortionate taxi fares and here we have the Governor suggesting prices should be increased.

You just got to love the "Phuket experience".

Posted by ThaiMike on August 14, 2013 20:39


A couple of months ago the meter value from the airport to Wat Chalong was 350Baht, Last month it was about 550 Baht. The journey time was about the same.
Who says rates have not gone up in 10 years?

Posted by john on August 14, 2013 20:41


Metered taxis definitely exist but you may have to ask the driver to remove his cap from the "broken" meter.
You may find that even with the meter working they are still end up displaying some strange numbers of approx. two or three times what you thought it was going to be!

Posted by Concerned Regular Reader on August 14, 2013 20:45


To be honest, as an example, 800 baht from the airport to Kata seems entirely reasonable (in fact in ral terms, cheap). The journey is probably going to take at least an hour, and whilst the distance isn't excessive (circa 40km?), the journey time is not going to be short.

I think the most pertinent point is to get uniformity in the pricing (and of course that would preferably be through meter).

I think too much attention is being placed on the airport transportation scenario. The real problems exist in the intra-Phuket transport. A sensible bus system is all that it takes. Of course that means a sensible adoption of policy by local government. So what is seriously stopping them? That would be amongst my top 10 questions were I in the seconded DSI.

Posted by Phil on August 14, 2013 21:38


What pleased him, though, was that in talking to a succession of about 10 tourists he found that none of them had real complaints about Phuket.
Well you wouldnt at the arrival counter would you!In case he didnt know according to the drivers there is not a meter in all of Thailand that is working.

Posted by slickmelb on August 15, 2013 00:30


"fares hadn't risen in 10 years"

...neither did the service level.

Posted by Jakub on August 15, 2013 08:33


@phil...To be honest, as an example, 800 baht from the airport to Kata seems entirely reasonable (in fact in ral terms, cheap). The journey is probably going to take at least an hour, and whilst the distance isn't excessive (circa 40km?), the journey time is not going to be short.

Really? So if an average working Thai had to get to the airport, you'd think that paying 2 full days wages for the pleasure would be considered "cheap"?
For locals in most countries taxis are expensive, but i'll bet you that in your country you wouldn't say that paying the equivalent of 2 days pay to travel 40 odd k's was anywhere near ''reasonable"

Fares must be somewhere in line with local wages,and affordable for locals to use on occassion, surely.

Posted by Mal on August 15, 2013 09:00


What about the land traffic act 2522 which requires taxi to be metered and charge by the meter? Why does this not cover Phuket? If it doesn't would it not just be easier to have the government adjust the bill to cover Phuket (if they really want to clean up Phuket for the good of the countries tourism) Then enforce the law.

Posted by Resident on August 15, 2013 11:42


I don't understand why here you pay 100 bath at the airport and 40 bath at Don Muang for example. I don't understand why fare is 18 bath per 1 km if even to use 91 gasohol (42 per litre, about 4 bath per km) + salary (ok let's 30000 bath per month, about 6 bath per km if driver make 5-6 tips a day not less than 30km each). Where does 8 bath go? For amortization, tax, ETC.? I think all costs can be reduced at least to 60 bath+8bath per km (use lpg, introduce public transport and driver will work full day making at least 8 trips not less than 20km, crack down on taxi cooperatives collecting huge profits to share with officials to be immune, etc). So everything is possible. It's question of will and honesty, not of economy!

Posted by Slava on August 15, 2013 12:17


I am really lost here: about 2 months ago I took a taxi meter from hkt to phuket town and I was told that I had to pay a flat fare. I am wondering what fare gov. Maitree refers to. The meter that will never be implemented or the flat fare.

Posted by paul on August 15, 2013 17:47

Editor Comment:

The heading says 'Metered Cab Fares.'


Ok Ed, got it. I actually remember that the driver covered the meter with a piece of paper. However, it was still possible to see the red lights through the paper and the metered fare would have been 280 baht (180 + 100 airport tax) instead of 500 baht flat which I paid.

Posted by paul on August 15, 2013 18:24


September marks the new Yawn, more like

Posted by geoff on August 16, 2013 01:50


Metered Taxis didn't exit in phuket 10 years ago. I guess he is refering to the metered cabs in Bangkok? Taxis should get ALOT cheaper in hurry, and definitely NOT more expensive in Phuket. Nobody, anywhere in the world is supposed to reach upper/upper middle class living standards by driving a taxi, it's a low skill job and thus should be low paid. The whole society gets out of whack when a Uni professor can't ever dream of getting a tuk-tuk or taxi drivers salary. Let alone a teacher, office worker or IT professional.. Where is the incentive to study and develop oneself and the country?

Posted by christian on August 18, 2013 17:49


@ christian: As we all know - It's because the monopolies who own the taxi companies have conspired for there to be no public transport as an alternative. Thus,they can control the prices, as the tourist customers who want to get from a to b have to pay thru the nose, and the locals have to buy mopeds and open themselves to the very real risk (because of poor infrastructure and lack of traffic law enforcement) of sudden death. It is a conspiracy of genocide and gouging.

Posted by eddy on August 18, 2013 18:36

Editor Comment:

Gouging and needless deaths on the road, eddy. Genocide it is not.

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