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The new tuk-tuk that will replace all of Phuket's existing tuk-tuks

Supersize Tuk-Tuks Will Take Phuket

Monday, July 15, 2013
PHUKET: All 1100 tuk-tuks on Phuket are being converted to the Suzuki tuk-tuk model photographed above, which is said by its driver to be the first of its kind on Phuket.

There are at least 10 of the larger, cheaper Suzuki tuk-tuks operating now on Phuket with the Daihatsu tuk-tuks all eventually destined for the scrapyard.

Phuket Land Transport Department specialist Jaturong Keawkasisaid told Phuketwan that the old tuk-tuks would gradually be replaced by the new 11-passenger models.

The Suzuki tuk-tuks, based on the Suzuki Carry, are considered to be more efficient and according to the drivers we spoke to in Patong at the weekend, will operate at existing fares.

However, because the new vehicles are considerably larger, pressure is likely to grow for a call centre service to be introduced speedily to prevent wider, longer tuk-tuks choking Phuket's streets, especially in Patong and Karon.

The Phuket Airport Express buses will need to be able to get through.

There are 634 rear-entry tuk-tuks on Phuket and 500 side-entry tuk-tuks. It's believed the side-entry tuk-tuks were supposed to operate only in Phuket City but they have mostly drifted to the holiday coast side of the island, where they operate in breach of regulations.

The new basic Suzukis cost 300,000 baht and can be modified at a total cost of about 400,000 baht, including tax.

The Daihatsu models were imported and modified in Thailand, often avoiding tax.

The agreement to change tuk-tuk models was signed three years ago, Khun Jaturong said. The first of the new models appeared on Phuket's streets just a few weeks ago and many more are on the way.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Tuk tuk phase in to take longer than jet ski phase out. Even!

Posted by juswunderin on July 15, 2013 15:20

Editor Comment:

It certainly raises the prospect of a tuk-tuk demolition derby. Perhaps there could be an annual race across Patong Hill . . . only the fittest claim the fare.

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11-passenger models?
In most Europeren contries you need a busdriver licens to drive with more than 8 passengers. I fear more injured and killed now.

Posted by Hans on July 15, 2013 15:29

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why Tuk Tuk ? this is not tuk tuk it's taxi island not noise motor same tuk tuk.

Posted by suwat on July 15, 2013 15:33

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Great!..as the article states...bigger tuk tuks, take up more space on roads that already can't handle existing conditions...when will it ever end?

Posted by zig on July 15, 2013 15:34

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I agree with Hans and whatever happened to the seat belt drive to get all livery vehicles outfitted with safety belts?

Posted by Jon on July 15, 2013 15:47

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It'll be interesting to see how anyone can get past the Dino bar in Karon after these much wider models block the already way too narrow road.

Unless they reassign tuk-tuk parking spots, these models will make the current traffic congestion a lot worse.

I bet counting on the common sense of the drivers to park where they do not impede traffic will not produce positive results.

Posted by ThaiMike on July 15, 2013 15:52

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Instead to decrease They will operate at existing fares.
Actual fares must already be considered as a huge scam in comparison with Bangkok fares.

Posted by Anonymous on July 15, 2013 16:42

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Demolition derby a good idea --- inaugurate the new tunnel.

Posted by juswunderin on July 15, 2013 17:14

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"The first of the new models appeared on Phuket's streets just a few weeks ago and many more are on the way."

The first red one, maybe. In Kata/Karon I've seen a couple of white one's, for about ywo years, already. White, white plate, of course, mostly 'hidden' as Resort vehicles, but parking on Tuk Tuki slots, in the evening/nights.
Don't worry about the 11 people thing, Prices are for 4, so 11 people can hire 3 of them for almost the same price. But minimum 2. Who wouldn't?
And now, the driver have a 'legal' reason, to leave the engine running: Air! Not for the customer, of course!
A(Stupid, of course) question: Why not get Vios, instead? With meters? 110 to nuy, there would be a good discount available. Even after the commission for someone. So they could have 'kind of real taxi', for about 4-500kbaht. Instead of a changed Truck for 400k. And still do it for less, than the existing fees. But lets see, new Tuk Tuks, more illegals become legal, more new illegals: Next high season will see a gain in the prices, for sure.

Posted by Anonymous on July 15, 2013 18:28

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the business must be very profitable to afford investing in new equipment.

Posted by mikey on July 15, 2013 21:07

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"All 1100 tuk-tuks on Phuket are being converted"

In the end I'm pretty sure they will all be added and we will then have 1100 additional, larger tuk tuks.

Posted by fakename on July 15, 2013 23:22

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Who cut the deal with a Suzuki dealership some baht change hands in a brown paperbag? Well at what they charge at last tourists may have have some confidence there getting driven in roadworty vehs be a nice change.

Posted by slickmelb on July 16, 2013 04:25

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Are they already equipped with a "meter" installed by the factory ? What will be the initial Rate be ?

Posted by MJ on July 16, 2013 08:21

Editor Comment:

Meters are a foolish aspiration until after Phuket has what it really needs - an island-wide call centre. Once fares are cut in half, taxi and tuk-tuk pickups are allowed all over and the streets are cleared of rows of taxis and tuk-tuks, a meter becomes viable. Before then, it's a hopeless cause.

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This really should be the opportunity to scrap all tuk tuks. They don't pass any safety standards are uncomfortable and dangerous to the passengers. can't the Bangkok caps just drive down here and sort out the whole mess?

Posted by t on July 16, 2013 09:47

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@ED: how sure is PW that all the old tuk tuks will be removed over time? Or will the big ones be an added feature on Phuket roads ( and parking spaces )? I saw one up the road yesterday in cherng Talay , and they look ugly. I have to agree with the comment here from anonymous. They should have invested in real cars.

Posted by Charles on July 16, 2013 10:41

Editor Comment:

We have no control over events and PW cannot predict the future. All we can do, Charles, is relay what we are told by the authorities is happening. We'll leave you as always to draw all the negative conclusions and ignore any positives.

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Seem to remember that a few hundred Tuk-Tuks were paid for by foreign Tsunami donations..now we have new ones..(moderated)

Posted by david on July 16, 2013 10:56

Editor Comment:

Your memory is poor. The tsunami struck on a Sunday morning, when there were very few tuk-tuks about. There was no mass ''donation'' to replace tuk-tuks.

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Ed ... From first-hand experience the statement David made was correct
A considerable amount of donation monies has in the past been allegedly used for the purchase of tuk-tuks
As with the the long-tail boats on Phi Phi Island and Kho Lak many never existed in prior to the tsunami
Like you Ed I was in Thailand at the time donation monies were allegedly being misappropriated

Posted by Amazed in Thailand on July 16, 2013 13:23

Editor Comment:

''Hundreds'' of tuk-tuks were not destroyed so I'd welcome confirmation from one of the aid groups that ''hundreds'' were compensated. First time i've heard that one. As you know, individual vehicle insurance is what replaces vehicles. Aid organisations also knew that in 2004. We certainly heard of cases where people were given more than one longtail from different aid organisations or where false claims for compensation were made but generally speaking, the only large-scale deception involved missing person ID funds and one policeman. The media was filled with false reports. It's another bar room myth, as far as we are concerned.

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I guess that this means that phuket will never have the very nice Baht-bus system like the one in pattaya.It probably also means that the old ones will still be in business during a period of time.

Posted by One Expat 13 years on July 16, 2013 17:14

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Not published or not received ... AGAIN? 555 ... Frightened of digging yourself a bigger hole? 555 ... This losing face on your part with far too many of your [PUBLISHED] readers has become a very regular habit lately! 555
As someone [now full of his own self-importance] once said "Tell me about it... VIEWS OPINION ATTITUDE" ... As one of my lecturers use to say "You can talk to me about anything at any time but whether I do anything about it is another thing" ... Sorry ... got to have another 555!
ORIGINAL MESSAGE RESENT [amended] .....
Ed ... My intention in agreeing with David was with regard to the basis of his statement not necessarily with the the "few hundred" part he mentioned
The remainder of my comments and observations stand
The intention was to reply to a reader's comment
You will have noticed my use of the word allegedly
As you and your readers will appreciate what you or "we" as you put it "heard of" and what people who were directly involved with are entirely different matters
Due to the limitations and what I consider to be one-sided censorship relating to reader's posts I consider it neither the time and certainly not the place to publish further details as it may still be or subject to litigation
As you have quite rightly stated "The media was filled with false reports. It's another bar room myth, as far as we are concerned."
I think the last word is with me then [makes a change] ... or is it?

Posted by Amazed in Thailand on July 16, 2013 18:32

Editor Comment:

Writing in support of a post you didn't bother to read only encourages me to never post you again. This is, like your earlier post, gobbledygook. I post it now so other readers understand how not to post. What we actually want are concise, factual, value-added bits of information.

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Damn! I got so excited when i read the first part of the headline!

Posted by jimbo on July 16, 2013 21:16

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Yes it was same tsunami.
But Tuk Tuk replacements were in Sri Lanka. Keywords: operation tuk tuk bbc

Posted by J on July 18, 2013 15:41

Editor Comment:

Well, still not ''hundreds'' . . .

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Would it not have been a lot better to replace the old Tuk-Tuks with meter Taxi's ?

Posted by BjPe on July 25, 2013 23:24

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The agreement to allow the new large tuk tuk's provided an opportunity to improve the regulations concerning them.

The following could have been considered.

1. Driving instruction and subsequent driving test similar to the public service licence in Europe
2. Seat belts for all passengers
3. Meters
4. Governors to limit the speed
5. Reduced parking areas for tuk tuks

This is an opportunity missed

Paul

Posted by Paul on July 26, 2013 07:15

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And when are the drivers gonna be replaced?

Posted by cliwe on July 27, 2013 00:07

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Absolute madness. I have seen these monsters close up, and if you consider that all 1100 tuks are to be replaced with these jumbo Tuk Tuks ( there far bigger if you havent seen one yet), then its a recipe for more traffic and park up problems and incidents. The street parking for the current models causes chaos in Patong, plus half of them are "cruising" at slow speeds and slowing down traffic. It is obvious that the authorities and connected financial benefactors have no intention whatsoever of phasing out the Tuk Tuk menace, why should they look to scrap new vehicles ? Personally i have nothing against people making a living like in Pattaya out of a good honest transport system, but i despise these rip off cartels. I really hope embassys warn tourists against using them and to vote with their feet and walk.

Posted by CONCERNED PATONG on September 9, 2013 21:12


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