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Central caves in to Phuket taxi drivers’ demands

Central caves in to Phuket taxi drivers’ demands

PHUKET: Central Phuket has agreed to no longer operate its free shuttle service to bring tourists to the island’s main shopping mall following a protest by some 50 taxi drivers yesterday afternoon (Dec 9).

tourismtransport
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Tuesday 10 December 2019, 03:41PM


The taxi drivers massed in front of the Central Festival building at about 3:30pm, calling for the mall’s management to end the free shuttle service from hotels around the island, saying that the service severely affected their incomes.

Not allowing the situation to escalate, Central Phuket Assistant General Manager Kitt Thivavipat presented himself just 10 minutes later to talk with the taxi drivers.

By 4:15pm, a delegation of 20 of the drivers, led by Thammarat Suwanphosri, known for operating the local news Spotlight Thailand Facebook page (@spotlightphuket), relocated to continue the talks in a meeting room inside the complex.

Present to witness proceedings was Future Forward party list MP Rangsiman Rome, and a local police officer to ensure talks remained cordial.

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At 5:50pm the group had reached an agreement: Central will cease its free shuttle service from all hotels on the island except Central Group’s own Centara hotel franchise.

It was also agreed that staff from the Central Phuket mall will explain the new arrangement to taxi drivers who provide services from in front of Centara hotels across the island.

Management at Central Phuket have been asked for a formal statement regarding the new agreement, but have yet to reply.

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BluePeterMarine | 11 December 2019 - 19:06:30

Great step forward for the environment, smog combat and trafiic jams.

Image_faktory | 11 December 2019 - 15:32:36

Sad to see how the shopping and fnb outlets always cave in to the demands of the mafia run taxis who do nothing but overcharge and RIP off the tourist !

Kurt | 11 December 2019 - 11:24:49

Wow, the speed in time within Central Festival Management gave in in presence of a politician and police is not very promising for all Phuket hotels who have their own cars and vans.  Fear is ruling in hands of the transport sector on Phuket Island. Up to their next success. Perhaps double transport prices from airport to hotels because there are less tourists?

Nasa12 | 11 December 2019 - 08:11:29

Maybe it’s to many taxi and tuk-tuk in Phuket, not many tourists any more.

Zachattack77 | 10 December 2019 - 21:34:20

Nice.  That will help the tourism industry. Another opportunity for the taxi mafia to rip off the tourist. The excuse of the free service affecting livelihood is such a joke. Phuket has the most expensive taxis in Thailand, double other provinces. 

Fascinated | 10 December 2019 - 19:00:27

They should have been told to Foxtrot Oscar. Thugs win yet again.

Christy Sweet | 10 December 2019 - 16:08:10

So more traffic and more dangerous driving. Phuket Taxi drivers are a detriment to progress in every way- why pander to them? They need to find new occupations that do not adversely affect everyone and everything. How many roads are widened to accommodate their need to speed dangerously? 

Kurt | 10 December 2019 - 15:55:12

So, Phuket taxi mafia makes Phuket their private transport state by simply ruling out a shopping centre private transport business? Wow. It is getting more crazy by the day on Phuket.
Why they not on the Phuket roads everywhere to pick up/drop passengers ( on the meter)?  Phuket taxi transport, corrupt to the bone. Where is Provincial Hall to block this?

stegee | 10 December 2019 - 15:53:38

so now we have how many unemployed shuttle drivers??
central's duty is to their customers and their enants not these overcharging layabouts...

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