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Phuket Opinion: Enter public transport incorporated

PHUKET The news this week that prominent Phuket families, likely frustrated by decades of inaction by countless administration’s inability – or unwillingness – to develop public transport on the island, are moving ahead to achieve that goal themselves bodes well for the future of Phuket.

opinion, transport, tourism, economics,


The Phuket News

Sunday 13 November 2016, 09:00AM


Kata Group President and PKCD co-founder Pramookpisit Achariyachai (left) with Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan at the consortium's official launch this week. Photo: PR Dept
Kata Group President and PKCD co-founder Pramookpisit Achariyachai (left) with Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan at the consortium's official launch this week. Photo: PR Dept

This development comes on an island where nearly every form of so-called “public transport” is privately owned, from the tuk-tuk and taxi mafia and their incredible “fees” for joining tuk-tuk ranks operated by the key leaders to the airport limousine “co-operatives” who pay exorbitant “concession fees” to Airports of Thailand (AoT) for the right to pick up passengers at Phuket Airport.

The airport buses are privately operated, as are the blue-and-white songthaew that work from the market in Phuket Town and even the motorbike taxi outfits.

Despite the “fees” they collect and the endless complaints against them, which even inspired a crackdown by the military two years ago, they are all legally endorsed by the Phuket Land Transport Office.

The only exceptions are the pink Po Thong buses operated by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO), and even they do not dare extend their routes into other transport moguls’ turf.

Whether people agree with the investment model or not, private business gets things done for one primary reason – they exist to make money. Yet, if such corporations bring public benefit to where the government has failed for so long, it must be heralded as good news.

Beautiful news in this regard is that the primary PKCD investors intend to float the company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, which in essence throws down the gauntlet to cynics who would like to call the PKCD nothing more than just another “cartel”.

With an IPO, the public themselves can literally invest in Phuket, and claim their share of the profits made. How simple is that?

Without doubt many challenges lie ahead. The introduction of genuine public transport will ruffle the feathers of many of those profiting from Phuket’s lucrative transport industry.

How the PKCD will manage these issues remains to be seen, but Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan was correct in pointing out that no one knows the issues at hand or the mentality of the existing “public transport providers” better than these key Phuket people. If anyone can do it, they can – and they have the motivation to achieve it.

 

 

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Kurt | 13 November 2016 - 18:23:23

The photo with this article speaks 'book chapters'.
The Governor looks like he is thinking:
"Oh Oh, what to think about this private initiative, how I have to deal with it when the Phuket transport mafia uprise"? 
Need more body guards?

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Kurt | 13 November 2016 - 13:44:18

By what we read in this article it looks like the Governor is very happy that the private sector is taking over the public transport portfolio.
The Governor thinks he shuffled it now nicely off his desk.

However, now the Governor as the highest Thai Authority has to guarantee the safety of these entrepreneurs against deadly actions of the present Phuket transport mafia!
I hereby refer to the recent assignation by thai of the 58 year old thai president of Patong tuk tuk club on Phuket, a man who did not agree that other thai transport clubs not kept appointments.
His diary is now in hands of the Phuket authorities.
Let us see or justice will be done.

And or the Governor is going to take steps to give protection to the people who want liberate Phuket, and set up a decent public transport.

Let us not forget the attempts years ago to establish a Phuket west coast beach bus service, that the bus drivers were threaten to be killed and due to the fact that Governor and police commander that time not were enforcing the law and not protected these bus drivers, that bus service was doomed.
So, not the bus drivers, but that bus service did die.

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