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Phuket Taxis Forced to Form a Queue Outside Airport: Illegal Cabs Not Allowed

Monday, September 2, 2013
PHUKET: Taxis at Phuket International Airport are being forced to queue outside the gate with only nine vehicles permitted at the airport terminal at any time.

Gone is the crush and the crowding. The new system was introduced at the weekend by the facility's managers, Airports of Thailand Phuket Director Prathuang Somkhom said today.

It's the second real sign that Phuket is on the verge of reforms to its monopolistic taxi and tuk-tuk transport system. The first sign came recently with the establishment of the Airport-Patong bus.

''Only three vehicles from each of the three taxi groups who have access are being allowed in the gate at any time,'' Khun Prathuang told Phuketwan today.

Illegal ''black'' taxis are being excluded entirely.

''We can't get in any more,'' one illegal cabbie told Phuketwan today. ''That means I will be finished because I won't be able to make a payment on my vehicle this month.''

Legitimate vehicles registered with the limo, taxi or metered taxi groups are now queuing in a no-parking strip that runs back along the main road, near the airport entrance.

Gone are the taxi drivers soliciting business outside and inside the airport building. Gone is the crush of taxis in the main access road outside the main terminal.

''We've done this because there is no space,'' Khun Prathuang said. ''And with construction of the new terminal underway, we have a hectic timetable to maintain.''

A temporary terminal is being erected at a cost of 145 million baht that will provide 10 check-in counters and two luggage scanners.

The temporary terminal is expected to be built and open by early January, he said, with charter passengers likely to be the regular users.

''Last year the number of flights to and from Phuket rose by 24.92 percent,'' he said. ''International flights roseby 33.11 percent.

''International passenger numbers jumped 28.34 percent in July,'' he added.

Forty airlines are now using the Phuket facility. The number of flights a day has risen by 25.30 percent to 192.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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where do they wait then?
just outside?
gonna check that out - should be funny

Posted by max on September 2, 2013 14:07

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Excellent steps in the right direction.

Posted by stevenl on September 2, 2013 14:07

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Great to hear - keep it going

Posted by Ciaran on September 2, 2013 14:23

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Bravo keep up the good work and in the long run you'll see a better Phuket for all who live and holiday here. Well done.

Posted by DuncanB on September 2, 2013 14:25

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It is a good start but all Phuketians, Thais and foreigners alike, want a modern air-conditionned bus transport system and all metered-taxis and tuk-tuks equiped with taximeters which records the route and indicates the rate charged and the amount payable.
A light may be illuminated if the taxi is occupied.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 2, 2013 14:27

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"Legitimate vehicles registered with the limo, taxi or metered taxi groups are now queuing in a no-parking strip that runs back along the main road, near the airport entrance." DSI should now be asking the local coppers why these illegally parked vehicles are not being fined and asked to move on. I do like the reason for limiting the number of taxis, no mention of being more convenient or better managed for customers, it's because of lack of space due to construction. If this IS the case then sorry Ed but is NOT "the second real sign that Phuket is on the verge of reforms to its monopolistic taxi and tuk-tuk transport system. The first.

Posted by DSI Watch on September 2, 2013 14:40

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Good news indeed.

Does anyone know what is the large structure being built near the entrance to the airport? Is that the temporary terminal? I thought it looked like a much needed multi level car park.

Posted by Logic on September 2, 2013 14:59

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"DSI should now be asking the local coppers why these illegally parked vehicles are not being fined and asked to move on."

One measure has been taken, things like that would be overplaying their hand.

Posted by stevenl on September 2, 2013 15:05

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Got in from Koh Samui yesterday by noon. And I was surprised that there wasn't any taxi guys in the arriving area. There were a counter outside and few taxi drivers but that was it.
Hope it'll continiue like this.

Posted by Nicke on September 2, 2013 15:06

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GREAT news, lets hope they dont decide to block the entrance compltetely!

Posted by paul on September 2, 2013 15:08

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Steveni, I just wish, before you replied, that you at least read ALL of my comment re: the reason for the change. It would warrant a pat on the back IF the change was made for the convenience of tourists or for better management. Debate my comment if you dare, but next time please read AND understand what I post. As that great man B.A. Baracus would say "FOOL."

Posted by DSI Watch on September 2, 2013 16:16

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Can only be be in the daytime. I arrieved at 5.30PM yesterday ( sunday ) and they were everywhere, inside and outside. So there is still a job to do for Director Prathuang Somkhom.
And about the Price:

IT WILL NEVER STOP.
Last night ( sunday )I had to pay 100 baht surcharge to the booth at the airport before I even got into the Meter Taxi. Going to Kata, the mounten between Kata and Chalong, the meter ended with 715 Bath, all together 815 bath. That is about 350 bath more than last time I drove a meter taxi 1?? year ago. Taxi's and Tuk-Tuk's will kill Phuket as a nice place.

DO SOMETING ABOUT IT SOON or R.I.P.

Posted by Hans on September 2, 2013 16:22

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@ DSI Watch
I had read and understood, but do not feel any need to insult other contributors here, even if they have a different view.

Posted by stevenl on September 2, 2013 16:33

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This s the best news Ive heard in years. Maybe now it will be possible to get a parking spot in the airport carpark which has always been clogged full of taxis and minivans.
Let's hope they actually enforce this new rule.

Posted by Phil on September 2, 2013 20:45

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I just come from the airport, business as usual, unpolite taxi drivers shouting to arrival passengers, yes not inside but all outside and impossible to park the car as all the limousines are taking the space inside the parking area
!There is not one limo waithing outside the airport. Or is this a joke ?

Posted by Eric on September 2, 2013 20:55

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Well, I just arrived at 1930 from BKK. There were about 8 touts inside with taxi cards and another 10 outside. Taxis seemed to be lined up outside way more than 9 at a time.

Posted by rwc on September 2, 2013 21:40

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Yes can confirm the same - its clear that policy and implementation are two completely different things at the airport - Shame on AOT - maybe the new regulations should be explained to the police and staff operating at the airport too.

Posted by Ciaran on September 3, 2013 09:58

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Yes I flew in Sunday at 2.00pm, taxis everywhere, no parking anywhere, same as always, Phuket is one of the most unpleasant airports to arrive at in the world, unfortunately I don't believe things will change, those that try to bring about change just wear out physically and move on, eg the Aus consul.

Posted by coxo on September 3, 2013 10:45

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''We've done this because there is no space,'' Khun Prathuang said. /quote

Noting he is not addressing the illegalities.

Posted by Media watcher on September 3, 2013 21:23


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