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Airport to Patong Buses Set to Roll

Airport to Patong Buses Set to Roll

Thursday, July 11, 2013
PHUKET: The Airport-Patong-Airport bus will begin to roll at 9am next Friday with the time and July 19 seen as auspicious for starting the innovative Phuket service, the contract provider said today.

Prakorb Panyawai said everything would be in place for the low-cost, hop-on, hop-off service to begin.

''There won't be any fanfare or hoopla,'' he told Phuketwan today. ''We will simply start the service a bit later than normal because 9am is the appropriate time.''

No invitations have gone to Phuket administrators but the media was welcome at Phuket International Airport for the launch, he said.

The bus service will make Phuket history because the popular holiday destination has never before had a public bus service to the west coast as an alternative to high-cost airport taxis and limousines.

Eventually the service will be extended to neighboring Karon and Kata beaches and then further south.

No special security is being implemented for the bus service because there has been no indication that safeguards are necessary.

The service already has an online site, phuketairportbusexpress.com, where fares and a route map and other details can be found.

Initially there will be five stops but Khun Prakorb said this could grow to nine once the service developed a following.

Most tourists are expected to continue to take taxis and limousines on arrival on Phuket.

Although the buses were previously used at Bangkok's Sucvarnabhumi Airport and have luggage racks for large bags, many of the passengers are expected to be locals making short trips.

The introduction of the buses is part of a range of reforms that have been gradually taking place on Phuket under the Phuket Land Transport Director Terayoot Prasertphol and project specialist Jaturong Keawkasisaid.

As well as the bus service, Phuket's taxis have been formally registered and efforts are now being made to do the same with motorcycle taxis.

Yet to come is the extension of the Airport-Patong-Airport bus service to Kata-Karon, where taxi and tuk-tuk drivers have resisted the move.

A date has yet to be set for a public meeting in support of the extension of the service, but Khun Jaturong believes it will happen eventually.

The buses will roll from 8.15am daily beginning at both the airport and in Patong and there will be nine or 10 rounds per day.

Initially the stops will be at Thalang Council Offices, the Heroines Monument, Tesco Lotus intersection in Phuket City, and JJ Mal,l behind the Jungceylon shopping complex.

The sliding scale of fares is available from the online site. Taxis are expected to continue to be the preferred option for people who wish to get to their destination speedily.

Encouraging Phuket residents to exchange convenient yet dangerous motorcycles for the all-weather comfort and safety of the Airport Express buses will be a long-term marketing exercise.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Lets hope it actually does start

Posted by Sharon Joyner on July 11, 2013 15:39

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When will the web site be available in English? There is a button to switch to English, but nothing happens.

Posted by swerv on July 11, 2013 16:03

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I just looked at the website. Thai only - no English.

Kata and Karon are shown on the route map and timetable - but there will be no service.

Airport to Kata takes 2 hours.

There are only 4 trips per day from the airport: 0900, 1140, 1500, 2000.

Who will wait five hours for a bus?

DESIGNED TO FAIL

Posted by Jason on July 11, 2013 16:07

Editor Comment:

As the article says, there will be nine or 10 round trips from the airport each day. Don't make the mistake of always believing what you read.

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well I went to the website...clicked on the English version..and of course most of the info re' routes and fares are in Thai...

Posted by sky on July 11, 2013 16:26

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Good start with web site, all in Thai regardless of clicking on 'English' link so that will really help tourists!

Posted by Anonymous on July 11, 2013 16:38

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Ed ... Can you confirm that the existing Airport Bus service to Phuket Town is to remain in operation?
[http://www.airportbusphuket.com/]

Posted by Amazed in Thailand on July 11, 2013 17:15

Editor Comment:

No change to that service, we are told.

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Its like a Joke and repeating again and again .
God bless you new bus service

Posted by Rim on July 11, 2013 17:32

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hey, does the bus have A/C?
if not, then its clear,
NO 12h+ tourist from europe goes into a fan bus at arrival here, maybe hippies

Posted by siban on July 11, 2013 20:57

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Regarding the translation of the bus website if you use the Chrome web browser on the Thai version (NOT the so called english version) you will see an option to translate it, at the top of the page.
Or with any browser use http://translate.google.com and cut and paste each word.
Not perfect but it often kind of helps in these situations, for most languages, assuming it is text and not an image.

Posted by wyn on July 12, 2013 03:17

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lets hope this service can expand to be a viable option for travelers to get around Phuket.

Posted by soupdragon on July 12, 2013 08:10

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Lets celebrate in the quiet then. no need for fireworks.

Posted by Frog on July 12, 2013 17:51

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What is the website that display the bus schedule and rate.

Posted by holiday on July 19, 2013 15:41

Editor Comment:

phuketairportbusexpress.com


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