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‘Green plate’ taxis from outside Phuket fight back

‘Green plate’ taxis from outside Phuket fight back

PHUKET: Legally registered taxi drivers from Bangkok and other provinces are challenging the Phuket Land Transport Office’s right to ban them from working on the island.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 9 February 2023, 11:38AM

A group of the affected taxi drivers gathered late yesterday (Feb 8) at Saphan Hin, where they handed a formal request to Seri Ruam Thai Party representative Anantarak Phethin.

The request calls for party leader Pol Gen (Rtd) Sereepisuth Temeeyaves to help resolve the issue. Mr Sereepisuth, a former Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, is also currently Chairman of the House Anti-Corruption and Misconduct Committee.

Presenting the formal request on behalf of the aggrieved taxi drivers was Mr Thiraphat (family name withheld). Present to observe the proceedings were Kornpitak Assuwan, head of the PLTO’s  Transportation Academic Group (or ‘Policy Division’), and officers from the Phuket City Police.

The letter explained that legally registered taxi drivers from Bangkok and other provinces were being arrested by PLTO officials for working illegally in Phuket.

However, the charges are unclear. The PLTO officers have been unable to clearly identify which law the taxi drivers had broken.

“They cannot clarify how we have broken the law,” Mr Thiraphat said.

Meanwhile, the PLTO is refusing people to legally registere a single vehicle as a green plate taxi so they can work as fully legal independent taxi drivers.

At the same time, the PLTO is allowing registered juristic persons ‒ that is, companies and legally registered organisations, such as cooperatives and associations, Mr Thiraphat said.

Thai Residential

“If an individual wants to apply for a service vehicle registration ‒ that is, as a ‘green-plat’ taxi ‒ Phuket [transport] provincial officials require that it must be a registered company and must request permission from the TAT [Tourism Authority of Thailand], and they require other documents which are very complicated,” Mr Thirapaht explained.

“The process takes a lot of money, and makes it impossible for ordinary citizens to do so,” he said.

“The reason given is to control the number of cars in order to reduce traffic congestion, but they still allow companies to apply for vehicle registration services [green-plate taxis] in Phuket as usual,” he added.

This forces ordinary people to have to register their taxis in other provinces that are still open for registration… We have to do this because we want to work legally,” he said

Mr Thiraphat pointed out that many of the drivers had gone into debt in order to buy their taxis, and many were still under finance.

He also argued that there not enough taxis registered in Phuket to serve the market.

“May the Land Transportation Director be sympathetic and find a solution for green-plate taxis registered in Bangkok and other provinces be allowed to work in the Phuket area and actually have a career,” Mr Thiraphat said.

At last report the PLTO was to meet with the drivers to discuss the issue today (Feb 9).

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Kurt | 10 February 2023 - 10:29:55

How can Phuket expect to get Expo 2028 as Phuket taxi service is so corrupt, unlawful, backwarded and really a unworkable structure? Backed up by PLTO that has as adagio to keep Phuket public transport in last century doing. And for what? Being dumb? Illegal cartel money flows?

JohnC | 10 February 2023 - 09:56:28

With so many taxis already on Phuket why is it impossible to ever be able to flag down a taxi anywhere at any time? You have to go find them at one of their designated "queues" or have the contact numbers of some to call them to collect you, if you are lucky!

Timothy | 10 February 2023 - 09:29:44

The taxi drivers in other areas are aware of what the PLTO allows the taxis in Phuket to charge and have decided to come and make some big money. Can't blame them, but where will it end? There are enough taxis here already. Problem is they just sit in their "areas" and are not really easy to find when you need one. Hopefully all this fuss will finally bring about changes, and charges...

Kurt | 10 February 2023 - 09:05:35

Start to make taxi application matters simple. Single out TAT and 'other documents in this matter' that only are good for making things expensive ( corruption) and complicated. Set up a complete new PLTO system in this, to make it fair to all,... drivers and ... us, customers, who no where on Phuket can flag down a taxi. It is all so primitive on Phuket in 2023.

Prab | 09 February 2023 - 14:48:29

PLTO a totally useless organisation full of crooks protecting each other.. let hope a new PM can delete this few monkeys seating on some comfy chairs protecting the cartels... clearly this is what they are doing and their action speak for themself 

Kurt | 09 February 2023 - 13:39:30

One thing becomes very clear. PLTO is not what is suppose to be, totally unreliable. Dumb acting/reacting, observed by anyone around. Seems to be a illegal wing of the Phuket transport cartels.

Capricornball | 09 February 2023 - 13:01:04

Sounds like "if you can't beat'em, join'em". Still amazing how the PLTO is allowed to wield so much power since they are not a government agency, and are nothing but an organized crime racket (yes, mafia). Seems like the PM needs to step in and put an end to the PLTO and their cartels, and make it fair for anyone to compete. But, it looks like nobody in BKK has the sack to ac...

Fascinated | 09 February 2023 - 12:27:07

Lets take care of the cartels but not the little people just trying to get by- follow the money!


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