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China's answer to Phuket's traffic snarls, the straddling Airbus

Phuket Traffic Solution: an Overhead Airbus

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
VIDEO Phuket's Traffic Snarls Solved

PHUKET: An amazing new way of dealing with traffic problems appears to be just the solution that Phuket needs to keep its cars, motorcycles and minivans running and also provide a public transport option.

Chinese tourists are coming to the holiday island in greater numbers and it's the Chinese who have shown what thinking outside the box can achieve when it comes to a solution to traffic congestion.

The Land Airbus allows cars and public transport to share the same space. It's being proposed as a solution for traffic congestion in the Australian city of Perth, reports, and it could be just what Phuket needs, too.

The present plan for a tram route to go down the middle of the island's main thoroughfare is likely to simply cause even greater problems, Phuketwan believes.

There's virtually no hope of a fixed form of transport competing with motorcycles, the preferred form of transport among the island's majority of residents.

Clear the palms from the median strip instead and put in two extra lanes for cars and motorcycles, and at the same time ban all large buses except for the ones on the fixed inter-provincial routes - that's the Phuketwan solution.

Minivans make for a good flow of traffic.

Buses slow everything down. With them banned and with trucks restricted to use outside peak hours, Phuket's traffic problems can be properly addressed.

A tram is too slow and not the answer.

However, at some point in the not too distant future, the Land Airbus, created by TBS China, could be just what Phuket needs.

Straddling the traffic lanes on rails, it allows vehicles to pass beneath it.

According to watoday,, passengers travel in style, ascending to a seating area via a glass elevator that also deposits them at their air lift stations - while vehicle traffic streams underneath, unaffected by the Land Airbus stop.

TBS China claimed lower costs and time of construction, competitive carrying capacity and the elimination of hours spent in congested traffic.

Although raising some doubts about the suitability of the Chinese solution for Perth - which like Phuket needs to get more vehicles off the road - an Australian expert says: ''I'd still give them [TBS China] full marks for creativity and an original solution.''

Phuketwan drove south from the Phuket International Airport yesterday and encountered traffic congestion around yet another broken down bus in Thepkasattri Road.

Buses are Phuket's biggest traffic snarl problem and greatest danger on the roads.

Authorities should ban them completely before the Chalong Circle underpass opens. Now's the chance to act to give Phuket a smooth-flowing future.

VIDEO Phuket's Traffic Snarls Solved


Comments have been disabled for this article.


The rails would be an absolute danger for motorbike changing lanes. Just imagine one of those buses overtaking (in the true meaning) you from behind! A shocking experience which might irritate the drivers without end. Maybe a solution might be something from last century:
(this is no link, just plain text)

Posted by Beer Chang on August 26, 2015 10:01

Editor Comment:

Keeping motorcycles in one outside lane, turning only at intersections, would be a vast improvement.


Love it. If it costs in the Billions of Baht range, Phuket authorities will be up for that. Bring it on.

Posted by Duncan on August 26, 2015 14:34


I do not understand why all solutions have the intention of catering for more and more traffic until one day Phuket will be one large car park
Would it not be more sensible to introduce an efficient transport system island wide and reduce the number of vehicles allowed on Phuket island

Posted by Paul on August 26, 2015 15:34

Editor Comment:

What system is more efficient that personal motorcycles and cars, Paul? That's the problem. There has been no competition so demand has resolved the issue. As we've said, banning big buses, controlling trucks and using only minivans would at least keep traffic flowing. Nothing short of a total ban on motorcycles would get people on any form of public transport.


Watched the video and i love it. Its an absolutely fabulous idea.

Posted by Ciaran on August 26, 2015 15:55


My idea, PW editor idea, authority idea aren't the good idea... Many modern city in the world already faced the same problems.. shouldn't be better get a look and copy? So, first of all, take off the traffic lights at the 3 way intersections (like everywhere) in Europe is the first step. The rest is a big mess because motorbike drivers first never remain in their line and the total random widht of the roads do the rest. Crazy parking, no safety rules, minivan and cement trucks at very high speed and nobody fine them. There are many many points to fix before arrive to a normal situation. After, may be, can thinking about futuristic project.. In Phuket the future will never arrive...

Posted by dave on August 26, 2015 15:56


Teach the locals how to drive. Enforce traffic laws and invest the potential phenomenal revenue into road safety and maintenance. How hard can it be?

Posted by gee on August 26, 2015 15:56


I am looking into the more distant future ED.
Personal motorcycles are ok in as much they can keep moving around larger vehicles which are stationary
There is a finite amount of space on Phuket island, the numbers of cars is increasing quickly and the time can come when regardless of the standard of the roads, they will be very congested with traffic frequently at a standstill
I do not see building more and more roads, controlling trucks, banning big buses and using only mini vans would be a short term solution but I cannot see it solving the problem long term
A good transport system in Phuket in addition to your suggestion in my mind is required.

Posted by Paul on August 26, 2015 18:10


You can't build anything above sea level.... remember that is why everyone wants an Underpass...

Ooh unless this is going to cost BILLIONS then we definitely need it.

Posted by Tbs on August 26, 2015 20:13

Editor Comment:

There are a few differences between an Airbus and the skytrain, Tbs.


Had occasion to visit Vancouver Canada a few months ago.
A beautiful city inexpensive elevated Light Rapid Transit, Excellent inexpensive new buses and services. Highly regulated clean and efficient environmentally friendly taxis.
Funnily enough minimal traffic problems, no pollution problems in evidence, no umbrella police, no fricking great holes in the roads, electricity infrastructure neat and safe, motorcyclists wear helmets, police efficient pulling unsafe drivers and vehicles off the road???even without tents, traffic cones,tents and TVs. They have radios, breathalyzers and all sorts of goodies for ???peace and order???. Strange is it not?

Posted by david on August 27, 2015 09:46

Editor Comment:

No. Vancouver is in Canada, a developed country.


Well, the southern area of Phuket is first going to face 3 years 'music' of Chalong underpass building. A traffic disaster 1st class.
It is still a puzzle for me why they not build Chalong circle fly overs. At least 50 % of the 4 or 5 story high Bill boards will be than out of sight. ( Making the area more 'beautiful').

Posted by Kurt on August 28, 2015 09:16

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