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Patong police, taxi drivers meet to discuss service, behaviour

Patong police, taxi drivers meet to discuss service, behaviour

PHUKET: Patong Police and officials from relevant government offices held their first meeting with taxi drivers to talk about drivers’ behaviour and find ways to improve service quality in order to “make tourists more impressed”.

By Waranya Prompinpiras

Saturday 20 April 2019, 11:50AM

Chaired by Patong Police Chief Col Anotai Jindamanee, the meeting was held yesterday (April 19) at Patong Police Station. Present for the meeting were officials from various government offices as well as representatives of taxi, tuk-tuk and motorcycle taxi drivers. Local scion and head of Patong Development Foundation Preechavude ‘Prab’ Keesin was among the attendees as well.

Talking to The Phuket News today (April 20), Col Anotai explained that the aim of the meeting was that was to discuss service issues with the drivers and let them share their opinions in turn. Another meeting has already been scheduled to take place at Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa on May 8.

We decided to hold this meeting to gather opinions from motorcycle taxi drivers, regular taxi drivers and tuk-tuk drivers. We did this as we want public transport drivers in Patong area to be good and welcoming hosts for tourists and provide them great service,” Col Anotai said.

We would like to improve our service to make tourists more impressed. Also we want all drivers to have good manners, refrain from creating problems or having any disputes again,” he added.

According to Col Anotai's plan, the second meeting should end up with organisation of a special committee to manage public transport issues and solve problems. The committee should include representatives from Patong Police, Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), Patong Municipality, Royal Thai Army, Patong Development Foundation and taxi drivers.

The meeting at Patong Police Station follows the announcement of an “attitude adjustment” session for taxi drivers earlier this month. The announcement was made after two tourists were viciously beaten by a group of drivers in the tourism town on March 28, though PLTO Chief Banyat Kantha assured The Phuket News that the training had already been planned before the violent attack.

“We set up this training for public transport drivers before this incident. Their behaviour needed to be improved anyway,” Mr Banyat said.

Lt Col Santi Sakuntanark, Commander of the Royal Thai Army’s 25th Military Circle confirmed that the military would also take part in the training.

“This training is the PLTO’s job to do, but they don’t have many officers so we are happy to support them in doing their job,” Col Santi said.

Regarding the usual behaviour of Phuket’s public transport drivers, he agreed with Mr Banyat.

“The behaviour needs to be improved for better service,” Col Santi said.

“Our main purpose is to protect our tourism. We will cover the issues of law enforcement, public transport driver’s licenses, parking spaces, being service-oriented when serving tourists and not extorting them, and so on,” he explained.

“We do this to protect the tourism industry of the nation,” he repeated (read more here).

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CaptainJack69 | 22 April 2019 - 00:44:08

Yet more positive PR for Phuket. Telling the world that our taxi drivers are so bad that they have to be taught how NOT to beat up their own passengers. Genius!

Do they need changing? Of course they do, they suck. Do we need the whole world knowing about it?...

Kurt | 21 April 2019 - 13:26:35

'We' do this nonsense AFTER the high season when tourists are gone., not BEFORE. We do it the thai way. Or it makes sense or not, that is not important.  Meetings are always nice, giving the fake feeling we 'work'.

stegee | 21 April 2019 - 01:40:18

always best to do this as high season comes to a close...

BenPendejo | 20 April 2019 - 14:46:11

This is kinda like the Principal, the School Counselor and a couple teachers getting together with the problem children in Special Education programs. They can't be changed...they have mental deficiencies and an incredibly misguided sense of entitlement to do as they damn well please. The police have long been part of this, so I'll bet the farm that this is complete waste of everyone's...

Kurt | 20 April 2019 - 12:54:20

Many PLTO Jobs are now done by Thai Navy, Army and all kind of other departments. Why not terminate PLTO if it doesn't function?

Discover Thainess | 20 April 2019 - 12:46:45

How about having some tourists and expat residents present so that all these people can understand what WE want seeing as the meeting is about US! Or is that too sensible ?

Kurt | 20 April 2019 - 12:41:47

As long the RTP allows the tuk tuk drivers to have guns, steel rods or clubs in their tuk tuk to threaten passengers, that long things not change. And, no thai on Phuket want a change really, do they? Just another bla bla meeting. Perhaps to remind the tuk tuk drivers they are behind with 'remembering' RTP.

Kurt | 20 April 2019 - 12:34:28

Make tourists more impressed? Sitting in a red cookie tin without door and safety belts? Have to duck during the ride to make sure your head not get hurt? What is in all this to 'impress tourists'?   Not about safety, not about comfort, and not about fares. 
Our main purpose is (?)..... Make money, suck it out of the tourists. The rest is just bla-bla.

Asterix | 20 April 2019 - 12:19:49

Thousands of taxis, tuk-tuks and minibus drivers have brochures on display in their vehicles to sell tours without having a TAT Guide licence, compulsory insurance to cover tourists on tours and paying taxes accordingly.
It is an unfair competition against those properly registered Thai guides, tour counters, travel agents and tour operators with offices and Thai staffs.

Asterix | 20 April 2019 - 12:19:25

TAT Registration and Tourist Police should make compulsory that all taxis, tuk-tuks and minibus drivers can't have brochures inside their pockets and vehicles; or face to have to pay a fine and have their transport driver's licenses revoked by the land transport department.

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