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Beaches Bus  'Could Begin This Month'

Beaches Bus 'Could Begin This Month'

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
PHUKET: Low-cost buses should be running from Phuket International Airport to west coast beaches before the end of the month - with two police officers on board each bus if necessary, a Phuket transport expert said today.

Phuket Land Transport Office specialist Jaturong Keawkasi told Phuket media that only one or two public meetings were needed before the bus service could start.

Today's meeting about the airport service drew together representatives from Phuket's key commercial and tourism groups, united in their keenness for the low-cost hop-on, hop-off service.

Taxi drivers and tuk-tuk drivers in the Kata-Karon district have previously turned out to say they will blockade Phuket's streets if the buses roll.

The message to the drivers today was that the bus service would benefit all residents and tourists, that it would do them no harm, and that the service was something Phuket had long needed.

Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada chaired the meeting at the Phuket Land Transport Office in Saphan Hin.

He criticised Phuket officials in the past for failing to solve Phuket's problems:

''If we are going to solve the problems, they say, we have to ask the locals. This is the way it seems to happen on Phuket. We have laws, but Phuket does not use them - unless they provide a better living for locals.''

He was congratulated by Phuket Tourism Authority of Thailand Director Chanchai Dungjid for helping Phuket Land Transport Director Terayoot Prasertphol to push the bus service.

''We all know that Phuket needs this service,'' he said.

Jognrak Narukatpichai, of the Industrial Federation of Phuket, said: ''We can't let a small group of people prevent the proper development of Phuket.''

The Chairman of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, Jakkrit Engchuan, said: ''It's for the benefit of everyone on Phuket. Everyone wants it. The bus service is a very useful project.''

Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers are unlikely to suffer because bus passengers will still need to go on to their resorts or homes after alighting.

How the bus stops and taxis and tuk-tuks can be accommodated remains to be sorted but the six places where buses will stop and fares have been suggested.

A ride from Phuket International Airport is likely to be too long for some - it could take up to two hours to reach Kata, the meeting heard. Many will prefer more expensive taxis.

The six buses now decorated with Airport Express signage are likely to grow to eight or 10, specialist Khun Jaturong said.

The 24-seat buses would operate between 6am and 9pm.

He said a start should be made ''within this month'' and added that two police should ride on each bus if necessary for protection from possible attacks.

First stop will be Thalang (60 baht) then the Heroines Monument, the Tesco Lotus intersection in Phuket City (80 baht) Patong (120 baht) and Kata (150 baht).

A date has yet to be set for a large public meeting at Rajabhat University in Phuket City.

The extortionate fares charged by the taxi and tuk-tuk monopoly remain a concern whether or not the Phuket Airport bus service runs.

Europe's ambassadors, who meet on Phuket on Friday, say that many tourists compare taxi fares in Bangkok and Phuket and are turned off because the Phuket fares are as much as 10 times higher.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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COULD :>

I bet: WONT

I know it, phuketwan knows it, everyone knows it

Posted by silky on June 11, 2013 19:00

Editor Comment:

Have you been saving that up for your first comment, silky? How disappointing.

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Well done the vice Governor! Seems this guy means to do some good and is being very constructive. But "could" start this month is not a definite, so i'm holding my breath.
Shame the Governor is not there, too.

Posted by jimbo34 on June 11, 2013 19:01

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Please post the exact time and location of the first bus as I want to follow it in my pickup which has a video camera installed.

Posted by Buster on June 11, 2013 20:12

Editor Comment:

I guess you are checking to make sure the drivers aren't corrupt.

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Thumb up it goes thru.

Posted by Nicky on June 11, 2013 20:17

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Then why don't they use the Police (who should enforce the law) to stop illegal things happening?

Isn't that what they are meant to do?

Posted by Tbs on June 11, 2013 22:40

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Just for the record about the "Taxi Meter" I took one from the Airport to Tesco Lotus in Samkong. The fare was 100 baht before getting in the Taxi. Then 490 baht to Tesco Lotus. Totalling 590 baht.

There were NO prices on how much the ride costs per Kilometre.

So just because it says "Taxi Meter" don't expect it to be cheaper. If I was going to Patong, I am sure the fare would have been 1000 baht or more!

Posted by Tbs on June 11, 2013 22:48

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Great news I've got my money ready this been a long time coming,I can't wait to see patongs taxi federation presidents face when the bus roles into town .Lets hope the police carry out their duty and arrest any of these drivers who attempt to blockade the route.

Posted by Scunner on June 11, 2013 23:43

Editor Comment:

Patong taxis have so far accepted the idea of the buses, Scunner. Perhaps you are confusing Patong with Karon.

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:: cautious optimism ::

Also nice seeing the Vice Governor publicly calling out the local officials for ignoring the laws.

Posted by JustSomeGuy on June 12, 2013 02:20

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This is just a start, which also the taxi coops know, so some are trying to stop it.
But as some others have realised, there is no stopping this development. Next step will be hop on-hop off in Phuket Town, and more good new things will follow.

The tide has turned.

Posted by stevenl on June 12, 2013 07:07

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Better late than never! At least it is a step in the right direction!

Posted by eezergood on June 12, 2013 08:31

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The fares for this service seem expensive, who would pay 120 thb for a ride to somewhere in Patong (probably away from your final destination) on this bus,when u can get a minibus that will drop you off in front of your hotel for 150 thb

Posted by JK on June 12, 2013 10:33

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Its a good start and lets hope it continues. I for one am optimistic that this project will work and be a success.

@JK its not about the price but about giving people options and allowing them chose there method of transportation. BTw In your 150 THB minibus trip you forgot to mention the 45 minute stop off at a tour agency while they try sell you every tour package under the sun.

Posted by Ciaran on June 12, 2013 12:31

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Claran, giving an option that has very little convenience it's almost like not giving the option at all. I'd rather spend 45 minutes in a tour agency and arrive at my final destination without having to pay 200 thb extra to a tuk tuk and without having the hassle of getting luggages etc. off and on different vehicles to take me to my hotel when i get in Patong.

Posted by JK on June 12, 2013 17:03

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-tbs-
You took one of the Taxis, yellow green? right side after leaving the arrivals building? Price to Patong is Fixed at 650 Baht, payable to the Taxi driver after arrival at Patong destination, no 100 Baht fee, no Taxi Meter in the car. Just three days ago.

Posted by Alfred on June 14, 2013 22:58


Monday October 14, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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