Prakob Panyawai grumbled to The Phuket News last week that he had requested the airport to erect signs in the arrivals terminal directing people to the buses, and had also asked for a counter in the terminal, but had heard nothing for three months.
Asked about this, Mr Pratuang said, “We have already put up 10 signs in four languages.”
But he said that the bus company, which runs between the airport and Baanzaan Market in Patong, could not have a counter in the building. “It is impossible to set up a counter like the taxis have. This could cause conflict.”
However, he said that once the new system for taxis, with a single counter, is established, as early as December, it might be possible to reconsider having a counter for the bus service.
Mr Prakob was surprised to hear from The Phuket News that signs had already been erected. “I’ll go and take a look,” he said.
He called back later to say that he was disappointed. The signs are small, he said, and nowhere is there a bus schedule.
But Mr Pratuang is not convinced that the bus service will be popular among tourists, however big the signs are. “The public bus is not the answer for international tourist who have a lot of luggage. That’s why there are not many passengers.” The bus does not have much space for luggage, and is aimed primarily at people who are travelling light.
“In addition, the bus cannot deliver passengers to the door of their hotel. When they get to Patong and get off the bus, they then have to find another form of transport to take them to the hotel.”