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A sweeping new approach: Police General Pichit Kuandachakupt

'Secret' General Reveals Phuket's Tuk-Tuk, Taxi Plan

Wednesday, November 10, 2010
A POLICE GENERAL from Bangkok has been secretly pursuing the task of solving problems on Phuket associated with illegal ''black'' taxis and tuk-tuks for two years - and he believes he has a solution.

Police General Pichit Kuandachakupt met Phuket's Governor today to reveal his strategy for Phuket's immediate transport future.

General Pichit, who is on the Board of The Police Commission, said the process of change had already begun with his involvement as a consultant with Marriott International resorts.

There was a blockade at at least one Courtyard by Marriott on Phuket earlier this year. The general said that based on security video of the incident, one of the drivers involved was sentenced to jail for five months.

''Now the Marriott has no problem and we plan to sort out similar problems across the whole of Phuket based on our experience of this situation,'' he told today's meeting.

General Pichit is proposing that 500 tuk-tuks and taxis would earn green licence plates to make them part of the new system, and only the green-plate vehicles would be part of the call centre system to be used by Patong resorts.

The general said the Mayor of Patong, Pian Keesin, and his son Preechavude Keesin, who is President of the Taxi Federation of Patong, support the new system, along with resorts who had been told about it so far.

The Patong Taxi Club was represented at today's meeting at Provincial Hall in Phuket City by Setthasak Burson.

The changeover has already begun and taxis and tuk-tuks are being registered today, the general said.

''Three years should see the whole system made over,'' General Pichit said. He said that while involvement after the Courtyard blockade provide direct experience at solving the issues, the investigation into Patong's needs had been underway for two years.

''I saw tuk-tuk drivers debating prices with tourists outside the hotel where I am staying just this morning,'' General Pichit said. '''It is always an eye-opener to see this kind of haggling first-hand.

''The drivers spoke impolitely, the tourists were subjected to the wrong kind of approach, and there was a mafia-style attitude. We hope that will soon be a thing of the past.''

Numbers of illegal black taxis have been estimated at up to 4000 vehicles, and the issue of transport on Phuket has generated more complaints from tourists than any other issue.

''We have the names and addresses of about 2000 low-season black taxi drivers on Phuket,'' he said. ''In the high season, the number goes up more than double.''

The compilation of the lists of ''black'' drivers has been undertaken by police from Bangkok over the past two years.

''There will be a lot of energy in the campaign to let everyone know what we are doing now, and why,'' the general said. ''We want tourists to have a say, too.

''The number-plate change is the first step. Parking along beach road in Patong will be transformed as well in the next few weeks.''

Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha added that Patong's one-way system would also be reversed next month. He said that with the reversal will come a parking system that devoted more space to ordinary vehicles, and less to tuk-tuks and taxis.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Introducing a new group being the 'only ones who can pick up' is not the solution, that's more cartel like behavior, its the opposite of a solution.

Introduce meters and all the free market to reduce the numbers. Of course that doesn't help the tuktuk federation and their monthly membership fees.

Posted by LivinLOS on November 10, 2010 12:13

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Interesting bits of a new approach to solve the tuk-tuk problem. But what is the full picture? What are the prices? Where do the taxis come in? Etc. Etc. ???

Posted by Dirk Naumann on November 10, 2010 12:15

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wow... hope this true and not just some "lip service" to the media when the "high season" is beginning.

thumbs up on the driver being sent to jail. maybe he could update us on the assault with the iron bar in karon/kata?

suggestion to the general. how about rewarding those tuk tuk drivers doing exceptional good deeds? there are some pleasant drivers out there.

Posted by john s on November 10, 2010 12:19

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"Three years should see the whole system made over"

A very senior official made a somewhat similar commitment that the jets skis would all be phased out of existence within 7 years. That was 8 years ago.

This entire story can be summarised in three words: Nothing Will Change

Upon closer review of the lead photo, however, the report might borrow the headline of a previous PW feature on the taxi mob called "Do I Look Like the Mafia?"

Posted by Treelover on November 10, 2010 12:59

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So sick and tired of all this "talk" about bloody TukTuks! IF this dude if from Bangkok, just adopt the system there?? DONE.

Metered taxis (same rate as Bangkok) for those of us who want to pay. And buses for the masses. Bangkok and Pattaya's system works. .just copy it. I know, I'm dreaming, right.

Posted by tom on November 10, 2010 13:17

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Thanks for the laugh, Phuket Wan. Can we now get back to the serious news?

Posted by Mike Boyd on November 10, 2010 14:24

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To follow up comment by Tom....my thoughts exactly!

Posted by sky on November 10, 2010 14:44

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it looks like that your newschannel always get some dreamnews and u publish everthing you hear from those guys. thats why maybe u have sometime more information then otheres? right? it looks like you are the speachchannel for this lies? why u never question this answers and why u never follow this storys?

Posted by Mike on November 10, 2010 16:47

Editor Comment:

Mike, I think you like people who think like you do . . . or maybe could think, if only they didn't prefer not to think. Good luck with your personal propaganda.

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Just a case of too many tuk-tuks and not enough customers.

Make the most of each fare, and thus make (drive) the customers away.

Too bad the bus route failed (from fear)

Posted by MIKEY on November 11, 2010 01:15

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Kuhn Editor,

I like(d?) the Phuket Wan , but the Editor seems to be working hard on his own personal propaganda too.

I have recomended and installed you on over 100 Iphones, laptops and computers last couple of months, but I start getting doubts when I read some of your comments. Please slow down on and with your comments and focus on your articles. Otherwise it becomes less objective and so less recommendable.

Posted by PatongExpat on November 27, 2010 21:27

Editor Comment:

PatongExpat,
We don't do propaganda here, nor do we respond to threats or intimidation. I will continue to comment whenever I detect misinformation, prejudice, bigotry or bullying. If you don't want other people's opinions, don't read the comments.


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