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Official roll-out of Phuket Smart Bus delayed

PHUKET: It has been confirmed today that the official launch of Phuket City Development Co Ltd’s (PKCD) Smart Bus project has been delayed until the end of March due to the need for conducting further checks for all ten of the buses.

By Shela Riva

Tuesday 6 March 2018, 11:32AM

The launch has been delayed to ensure each of the buses' GPS system is fully functional. Photo: Supplied

The launch has been delayed to ensure each of the buses' GPS system is fully functional. Photo: Supplied

PKCD Executive Director Watchara Jaru-ariyanon explained to The Phuket News today (Mar 6), “It is better if we conduct further checks on the buses’ GPS systems and smart card payment system on all ten buses before we offer the service.

“At first we thought we would begin the service after the launch [on Feb 28] but the team has decided it would be better to test the systems for a month to make sure that the card charges the right amount of money, and ensure that the GPS and mobile application, which is upcoming, are accurate.

“There have been initial issues with the system in Bangkok, so we want to make sure we have no problems here. We want to be sure,” he said.

“Everything is ready, so the trial period will be finished no later than this month, possibly within March.

“For more information you can visit where there is a Q&A section that responds to all queries,” added Mr Watchara.

Word of the delay surfaced after interested users of the service noticed that the geo-location of most of the smart buses have been in Phuket Town since the Feb 28 launch (see story here), which is outside of the West Coast route that the buses are supposed to serve.

QSI International School Phuket

“The buses are mainly being tested in Phuket Town. Although some will take turns going along the West Coast route for testing throughout the day as well,” said Mr Watchara.

The change comes after the buses already began picking up passengers from Phuket Airport, with one local expat who experienced the service as a passenger, name withheld, commenting last week:

“Took a ride today from Tatyana Novikova’s salon to Tesco and back. We were the only passengers on board. Payment in cash was accepted, aircon works. Overall, it can be used. Btw, we got on a bus that wasn’t listed on the website. Seems like not all of them transfer data yet,” the reader said.

However, Mr Watchara confirmed today that the buses are now not offering any services to passengers during the trial period.

“During this time, it’s better that we don’t pick up any passengers,” he said.



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ematt | 08 March 2018 - 09:44:10

The article - if you read it - is exceedingly clear. Never-the-less, experts posting here immediately present an alternate reality.  Maybe PN editors should let these posters vet articles before publication? In order to, you know, filter out any actual facts....

DeKaaskopp | 07 March 2018 - 22:16:52

"In Singapore they were laughing"Why? Are they as spiteful as you are?

Discover Thainess | 06 March 2018 - 18:45:54

I wonder if this is anything to do with anyone trying to block the service from operating. Also, why on Earth not have multiple bus stops in each town, in Patong for example by simon cabaret, marlin plaza, old absolute hotel, then bangla, dolphin roundabout, kalim, near Pan Yaah etc. Or can the bus be flagged down anywhere?

marcher | 06 March 2018 - 18:20:14

You're forgetting this is Thailand. Everything is delayed for any type of reason. Take the election for instance

Kurt | 06 March 2018 - 12:27:34

A passenger bus operational system trial should be done with passengers.
How to do a operational trial without passengers?

So, what is really going on or not going on now for another 1 month?
One month? Looks like the 'trial staff' have to come from Bangkok.
In Singapore they were laughing.

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