To ease traffic congestion and provide a sense of order, the Director of Phuket's Transport Department, Teerayuth Prasertpon, made several innovative proposals last year.
These included a plan to establish a central call centre, so that resorts in the Kata-Karon region could telephone for a tuk-tuk or taxi as required. The present system requires scores of tuk-tuks and taxis taking up parking spaces on the narrow Kata-Karon roads.
In May last year, Khun Teerayuth said that it was time for drivers to develop a genuine service mentality rather than seeing their role purely as a money-making business.
He had the support of then-Vice Governor Niwit Aroonrat, who told tuk-tuk and taxi representatives at a meeting in Phuket City: ''We all have to live in the real world. You won't survive in the real world if you don't have proper international standards and a real-world approach.''
Despite these and other entreaties, the proposal has languished, Transport officials said last week. Chalong police, local authorities and the drivers themselves showed no inclination to adopt the concept.
Under Khun Teerayuth's proposal, taxis and tuk-tuks would have used the parking area alongside the Karon Municipal Offices as a central depot and responded to calls from tourists at all resorts in the region.
Lack of progress on Phuket in implementing the innovation - which would have been used as a role model for other areas on Phuket - is one of the reasons for Bangkok authorities now looking at all the island's future public transport needs.