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Buses will roll in August, says the man in charge of the service

Airport Bus To Roll in August, Says Contractor

Thursday, June 20, 2013
PHUKET: The controversial Phuket Airport-Patong-Airport bus service will begin running in August, the owner of the buses told Phuketwan last night.

Officials gave the green light to the low-cost hop-on, hop-off service at a meeting yesterday afternoon at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

Phuket Land Transport officers predicted a start to the service as soon as the buses could be checked.

But last night the managing director of the company that owns the buses and holds the contract, OS Car Rent and Tour, said it will be August before buses roll.

Prakorb Panyawai told a Phuketwan reporter who called to check the starting date: ''Our drivers are trained and ready to go but we need to do some marketing first.''

The company had paid seven million baht for its fleet of 10 buses, he said. There are eight drivers.

According to yesterday's meeting, chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada, buses will begin early morning and run through to the evening.

The frequency is likely to increase once the service has passengers. Initially it will only run as far as Patong because of resistance from the taxi and tuk-tuk drivers of Kata-Karon, south of Patong on Phuket's holiday west coast.

''We plan to offer Kata-Karon passengers a 20 percent discount on production of their ID cards,'' Khun Prakorb told Phuketwan. ''The discount could also be extended to include Patong passengers.''

Local residents are expected to benefit from the new service and take to it quickly, along with some tourists.

Many arriving passengers are expected to still use taxis from Phuket airport because the bus service, although much lower in cost, will take longer to reach Phuket's holiday coast.

Once tourists reach the Phuket City or Patong bus stops, they will still need transport to their resort or guesthouse.

''Buses will run to schedule even if they have just a few passengers,'' Khun Prakorb told Phuketwan.

He said a temporary ticketing office will be set up on the concourse at Phuket International Airport.

Airports of Thailand, which manages the airport, has yet to respond to a request for a permanent counter, he said.

A public meeting has yet to be scheduled to gauge the opinions of locals in the Kata-Karon region to the extension of the buses to that part of Phuket.

Kata-Karon tuk-tuk and taxi drivers take up most of the parking spaces in the region and continue to grow in number, despite complaints from tourists about the high fares and poor service.

Comments

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Other online medias are publishing that the first Phuket Airport-Patong-Airport bus service will begin running on 01 July 2013.
Where is the truth?

Posted by Whistle-Blower on June 20, 2013 11:53

Editor Comment:

What do you think, Whistle-Blower? Do you think the others took the opportunity to check what they were told at the meeting with the key person, the bus contractor? Or do you think only Phuketwan made that extra telephone call?

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yeah and at least we now know that the drop off point in Patong will be at Ban Zan Market thanks to the other online publisher...now do you think you can at least inform us of the fares since you claim to be the top media source of the universe????

Posted by Zig on June 20, 2013 12:06

Editor Comment:

We had that information several articles back, Zig. Do you expect us to keep repeating it over and over again for part-time readers? Try keeping up. No doubt we'll report it again closer to the launch.

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Once again, the comments section becomes an online showcase for the editor's personality disorder...

Posted by matt on June 20, 2013 12:11

Editor Comment:

The only disorder is among readers who focus on the editor's comments rather than the issues, matt.

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yes I do expect you to provide to your readers every bit of information re' the story at hand as other more sound and professional journalists do...why leave things out?...Why don't you just admit at this point that you weren't on the ball and didn't bother thinking about getting all the important information in print that readers would like to see...You are only giving us half the story..and as whistle blower implies, even if this story you wrote is all the truth..

Posted by Zig on June 20, 2013 12:29

Editor Comment:

Nah, far from it, zig. We have more scoops than the others. We even filed two stories on the topic while the others were busy writing their first ones. And we made the right call on when the service will start. We just don't service expats entrenched in Patong but all residents and tourists. The bus stops may yet be revised, so when it becomes a key element, we'll report it fast and factually as always.
And as always, we don't take orders from freeloaders.

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Actually guys i think Ed is bang on here. Yes other media outlets have stated July 1st but the contractor himself stated August 1st in said articles.

Since bus stops havnt been put up, no decision on ticket desk at the airport etc, its more realistic to think it will be August 1st.

Posted by Ciaran on June 21, 2013 17:03

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(moderated)

Posted by Phuket_IOC on June 21, 2013 18:53

Editor Comment:

We don't ever report information gleaned from other sources, Phuket_IOC, just as other sources don't ever carry reports based on what Phuketwan says. Please adjust your comments accordingly.

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'Our drivers are trained and ready to go ...'.

I hope trained in martial arts and ready with their Uzis.

Posted by Swami K. on June 24, 2013 21:46

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10 buses 7 million baht?...Thinking he got a helluva deal? Only eight drivers? Guess the extra buses are for redundancy?
Only "early morning through evening"? Guess they will miss many a lucrative passenger load?
Think most airports charge a fee or license transport companies..is this the case in Phuket? Seems they are distancing themselves from accommodation issues?

Posted by David on June 27, 2013 04:24


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