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Free Phuket airport shuttle bus in the pipeline

Free Phuket airport shuttle bus in the pipeline

PHUKET: A new, free shuttle bus service, provided by Airports of Thailand (AoT) and running from the airport to Saphan Hin, Karon and Rawai were disccused a meeting held on Tuesday (May 12) to update on management progress at Phuket International Airport. Airport parking was also on the agenda.

transporttourism
By Nattapat Tuarob

Thursday 14 May 2015, 01:58PM


Deputy Director of Airport Of Thailand, Phuket Office, Second Lieutenant Thani Chuangchoo (in glasses) doesn't want to upset the taxis.

Deputy Director of Airport Of Thailand, Phuket Office, Second Lieutenant Thani Chuangchoo (in glasses) doesn't want to upset the taxis.

The meeting, chaired by governor Nisit Jansomwong and attended by relevant departments, was aimed at assisting with the management and organising of the Airports of Thailand (AoT) Phuket office.

Speaking about the new bus service, Lawyer and political advisor, Sarayuth Mallam proposed that there should be three lines; first would be Airport – Bangtao – Kamala – Patong – Karon (Beach Front line). Second, Airport – Bang Ku – Chaofa West – Rawai and third a city line to Saphan Hin.

However, President of Phuket Tourism Business Association, Sathirapong Na Takuatoong said, “If we want to do the shuttle bus it shouldn't affect the earnings of other people. We might focus on the waiting time, if you want to travel cheap you have to wait maybe half an hour for a bus to be available. That will not take advantage out of the metered taxis.”

Deputy Director of Airport Of Thailand, Phuket Office, Second Lieutenant Thani Chuangchoo said, “That would mean that there would then be two types of airport bus, one is a shuttle bus and the another is the airport bus.

“With the shuttle bus, when passengers take the route to or from the airport the bus will only stop at designated points, but with the airport bus this will stop anywhere along the route to pick up passengers.

“I think the shuttle bus is more universal but passengers will need to show their boarding pass before using the bus because it will be free.”

Gov Nisit stressed that the shuttle bus is necessary to meet the needs of airport passengers.

Currently, there are two routes for the airport bus – Phuket Town line (nine rounds) and Kata-Karon (12 rounds). However, these are not operated by AoT

Sec Lt Thani said, “The airport bus can be remained in operation because it is another choice for locals. But we will not allow them to be a minivan because we already have a concession for that type of vehicle.”

Jaturong Kaewkasi of the Phuket Office of the Transport Department said, “Actually, the reason that we use minivans is because sometimes there are not enough passengers for a bus, and if we use a bus it will cost us more money.”

 

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Turning to the issue about parking for public transport and tour buses, a new parking area which would provide spaces for up to 300 cars and 10 for buses was propsed.

However, Gov Nisit and committee staff suggested that the space in front of the old airport terminal should be used as a paking area for tour buses and public transport so that it will ease congestion inside the new airport car park.

Mr Sathirapong said, “The airport might lanuch a yearly or quarterly parking promotion package for tour bus operators so that they don̕t park along the road outside the Airport.”

Mr Sarayuth added, “Tour buses need to come to the airport at least 45 minutes to one hour before a flight lands so it's impossible to manage the flow of buses easily.

“In addition, as for the new car park, I think Airport staff should park on the fourth or fifth floors because they work eight hours and keep their cars there a long time. Green plate taxis should also park on these floors and they can be called by walkie talkie when they̕re needed.”

Deputy Director of Airport Of Thailand, Phuket Office, Second Lieutenant Thani Chuangchoo replied that any plans can be adjusted according to the committee's suggestion.

Gov Nisit also told Tha Chat Chai police and Thalang District officers to stop cars from parking outside the Airport and to put up signs to say that if they do park there they will caught.

“I believe that most foreginers who park in this area don't have a driving licence. If we catch them I don̕t think they will do it again.

“They can't break the law when they are in their homeland but when they are in Thailand they go wild.”

Gov Nisit also said at the meeting that he still hopes to see a “Grab Taxi” system added to the existing taxi system.  

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malczx7r | 15 May 2015 - 12:11:18

Not affect meter taxi\'s chance of seeing one would be a fine thing, as rare as hens teeth! Come on get a few thousand more over here!

petermach | 14 May 2015 - 17:33:47

a very good news , I expect the next one : only taxi with meters on the island and same rate as Banglkok and it will be perfect

 

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