As honorary consuls pointed out at a meeting this week, reforming the taxi system is great. But the fares remain unfair and way out of kilter with taxi fares in Bangkok.
Any tourist who visits both cities - these days Phuket is viewed by many as an island-city - will be disturbed at the difference in pricing on Phuket.
Residents on the island deserve to have taxis as an option, something that won't happen unless the fares are fair.
Historically, the meter taxis were established at Phuket International Airport to replace the green-plate ''negotiable fares'' taxis, but it did not happen.
Eventually, the meter taxi drivers decided they were better off charging the same schedule as the green-plates.
Now that the reforms are finally taking place, advocates of fair fares argue, it's time to correct that unfairness.
Phuket Land Transport Department specialist, Jaturong Keawkasi, told Phuketwan yesterday that the real surge in meter taxis has yet to become visible on the island.
Plenty of meter taxis can now be seen taking priority at Phuket International Airport. A total of 139 are based there.
But the paradise of having tourists able to hail passing cabs will only come with hundreds more metered cabs on Phuket's streets.
''We have 380 new meter cabs already registered but only three are on the road so far,'' he said. ''The rest will head out there progressively.''
Comparing Fares in Phuket and Bangkok
The fares rates are:
First 1-3 kilomteres, 50 baht; 3-15 kilometres, 12 baht per kilometre; 16 kilometres plus, 10 baht a kilometre.
Flagfall 35 baht; 2-12 kilometres, 5 baht per kilometre; 12-20k, 5.50 baht per k; 20-40k, 6 baht per k; 40-60k, 6.50 baht per k; 60-80k, 7.50 baht per k; 80k plus, 8.50 baht per k.
Advocates of fair fares are advised to put their case to Phuket Land Transport or go direct to headquarters in Bangkok.