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Crackdown on Bolt, inDriver taxi-app drivers continues

Crackdown on Bolt, inDriver taxi-app drivers continues

PHUKET: The checkpoints hunting for illegal taxi drivers as promised by Adcha Buachan, Chief of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), last week have caught another driver deemed to be operating illegally.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 6 April 2023, 10:25AM

At the press conference last Thursday, joined by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, Mr Adcha announced that checkpoints would be set up to catch taxi drivers deemed to be working illegally.

PLTO officers would be supported by police in the hunt for illegal taxi drivers. At the press conference for the announcement were Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Pol Col Jirasak Siemsak and Wichit Police Chief Pol Col Chatri Chukaew.

Mr Adcha repeated that currently only two taxi apps are legal in Phuket: Hello Phuket and Grab.

The two taxi-hailing apps have a total of 365 drivers registered to provide taxi services. Hello Phuket has 228 drivers registered, Grab has 111 drivers registered and 26 drivers are registered with both apps, he said.

Mr Adcha also repeated that the PLTO had created stickers for private cars to use so they could be easily identified. The stickers are to indicate that the taxi has been registered through a legal application and has been certified by the PLTO.

Continuing to refer to taxi-app drivers as ‘black plate’ taxis, Mr Adcha said that “measures” were to be taken by officials against taxi drivers deemed to be illegal.

As such, a checkpoint was set up in front of Central Festival Phuket shopping mall on the bypass road on Tuesday night (Apr 4), with Wichit Police officers present.

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The espoused aim of the checkpoints was to “prevent quarrels between taxi service providers”. However, the campaign is targetting drivers using specific ride-sharing apps to pick up passengers, namely Bolt and inDriver.

Of note, the checkpoint on Tuesday night was set up at the same location where a ‘green plate’ taxi driver harassed and verbally abused a woman picking up passengers in a car that has been approved by the PLTO to use with the “approved” apps.

The ‘green plate’ taxi driver, operating at Central Festival was never held accountable for his behaviour, and did not even present himself at Wichit Police Station after the incident.

The checkpoint at Central Festival was in operation from 6pm to 9pm on Tuesday night. Officers stopped and checked any vehicles whose drivers were suspected of operating illegally as taxi drivers.

Throughout the three hours, officers found one driver deemed to be operating illegally. The PLTO marked in its report that its officers were taking action against the driver, and were to “consider” suspending the driver’s licence.

Of note, the PLTO has a habit of using the word “consider” in its reports when the exact action “considered” is actually taken.

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agogohome | 09 April 2023 - 17:36:24

Funny how we never read about aggressive InDriver or Bolt drivers. 

Mark Burgmann | 08 April 2023 - 16:41:45

I think Phuket residents who are forced to use overpriced cab services should write a collective letter to DSI complaining about the head of PLTO and the Governor of Phuket to have DSI check how much bribes they receive from cab cooperatives for lobbying cab drivers to restrict mobile apps and restrict public transportation.

JohnC | 07 April 2023 - 08:32:20

The continuation of this ridiculous witch hunt to stop "illegal" taxis taking any bit of profit the mafia thugs might make is completely backed by their sponsors; the PLTO and the 'nai hua' Mr Adcha who only care about how much goes in to their own pockets. Phuket you should be very embarrassed, those put in power have turned the island in to a place that is laughed at rather tha...

CaptainJack69 | 06 April 2023 - 21:42:04

Hey, world, this is Phuket calling, look how backward we are!

maverick | 06 April 2023 - 15:03:41

Decent public transport stops all this nonsense.

Wilko | 06 April 2023 - 14:53:30

It's all down to brown envelopes (how did that get there type).

Kakka2 | 06 April 2023 - 12:13:04

i will only use InDrive or Bolt anyway... this is total mafia to protect the scam aggressive local taxi that all are but rude ignorant crooks.. at least InDrive and Bolt are usually very friendly and a 1/4 of the price... so my full support for them

megamind | 06 April 2023 - 10:55:32

competition is the starting point for having low and honest prices. Canceling it in a normal country is a crime.


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