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The number to call if you need a Phuket taxi, a meeting heard today

Police Will Pick Off Last Illegal Phuket Cabs

Monday, October 1, 2012
PHUKET: A major operation involving special teams of police from outside Phuket will remove illegal taxis from Phuket once the October 15 deadline for registration passes, a meeting heard today.

Phuket Land Transport Office Director Terayoot Prasertphol said a special team from the department would combine with Crime Suppression Division officers from Bangkok and Region 8 police to arrest illegal drivers.

Khun Terayoot has spearheaded a campaign of reform that appears on the verge of giving Phuket international standards for its taxis.

He announced today at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City that the hotline telephone number 1584 was now the number to be called by people who want taxis, as well as those who wish to lodge complaints.

''We are getting there,'' he said. At a Phuket honorary consuls' meeting last month with Phuket Governor tri Augkaradacha, Khun Terayoot's efforts were greeted with praise.

''There is also progress on the introduction of airport bus services,'' he said today.

''Applications for the new services will be invited from October 15 to November 30 for the routes from Phuket airport to Rawai, from Phuket airport to Patong and Kata-Karon and from Phuket airport to Kamala.''

The new Phuket bus services could be running early next year, he forecasts.

Observers also believe real progress is being made in the step-by-step legitimisation of Phuket's existing army of illegal ''black'' taxis.

Khun Terayoot said he believed 88 percent of the process was now complete.

His department has overseen the compilation of data that has led to the progress achieved so far.

Figures show that of Phuket's three districts, Phuket City (Muang) has 81 taxi queues and 1293 vehicles, Kathu has 59 queues and 1372 vehicles, and Thalang has 46 queues and 929 vehicles.

Since August 13 in three stages, 2624 vehicles have signed on. These vehicles are now in the process of having their white plates changed to green official taxi plates.

The move will only come with compliance to the new rules: vehicles must be 1500cc or above, and private vehicles now being paid off - believed to include more than 90 percent of the vehicles - will have to renegotiate a loan with the government bank.

The government bank has undertaken to outlay 650 million baht to take over the commitments of private vehicle drivers so they can become public vehicle drivers.

''Even proper uniforms will come with time,'' Khun Terayoot said.

He listed the number of public vehicles on Phuket as follows: 75 metred taxis; 510 tuk-tuks; 691 green-plate saloon cars; 2478 motorcycle taxis; 397 seung taews and buses; 3317 mini-vans.

The total: 7468 vehicles, which combined with the 2624 vehicles now in the process of being officially registered, takes the total for Phuket public vehicles to more than 10,000.

''From October 15, our special team will be on Phuket checking papers and any vehicle that is not properly registered will be put off the road,'' he said.

Step by step, Khun Terayoot appears to be edging towards his avowed aim of a modern call centre system for Phuket.

This would mean customers are not forced, as they are at present, to pay for a taxi travelling empty in the wrong direction - at their expense.

Comments

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This sounds good. if the police do not misuse power. Also to take away aggressive Tuk tuk mafia drivers. Many very nice people, but some idiots destroying reputation. Safety for tourists and for drivers, most important..

Posted by Svenn on October 1, 2012 14:58

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One interesting thing this new scheme where they put the 1584 number and/or the name of the driver on the door has revealed is the staggering number of illegal taxi's on the road. Whereas before they looked like any other car, now the roads are full of these black plated taxis with the name or 1584 on the door. Very few, I would say less than 20%, have the correct green taxi license plates. The problem would seem to be out of control, haven been able to grow organically with no checks or easy bribes for so long.

Posted by NomadJoe on October 1, 2012 15:17

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Who do you complain to?
Are this team going to cover all of the Island or just hang around the airport as there still seems to be dozens of illegal taxi's around the Rawai/ Nai Harn area

Posted by richie on October 1, 2012 18:17

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" The move will only come with compliance to the new rules: vehicles must be 1500cc or above,"
A few seat belts in the back and a bit of insurance wouldn't go astray either.

That's great news. All these so called expensive to run, tin can tuk tuk gas guzzlers have an engine capacity of 843 cc. Out they go wooppee !!
Can't wait to see the last of them.

Posted by innocent bystander on October 1, 2012 18:37

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The so-called meter taxis need to be sorted out next. They refuse to operate their meter & demand fixed prices. They need to be regulated as per those in Bangkok with a table of fares clearly displayed. I can take a metered taxi from Bangkok to Korat (more than 200 km) for a metered fare of approx 1800 baht.

Posted by Logic on October 1, 2012 23:04

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I am not going to hold my breath until the illegals in front of Simplitel Karon are gone....

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on October 2, 2012 00:13

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The whole system is a mess and seems to be getting messier. Too late now, I suppose, to start from scratch and let all taxis roam freely instead of this queue system? Can't wait for the Airport bus service to be expanded -not for the cheapness, but for the fact that I don't have to use those taxis and their mostly maniac drivers.

Posted by Ga on October 2, 2012 05:06


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