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Phuket airport taxi fare probe goes nowhere

Phuket airport taxi fare probe goes nowhere

PHUKET: Tanee Suebrerk, Deputy-Director of the Department of Land Transport, arrived in Phuket from Bangkok yesterday to preside over a meeting with airport taxi operators to investigate and discuss issues regarding taxi fares charged while the COVID economic crisis continues.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 8 July 2021, 05:40PM

At the meeting, held at Phuket Vocational College, airport taxi operators “agreed” to charging “20% off” fares as long as the crisis continues, said a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).

Present at the meeting were Phuket Vice Governor Vikrom Jakthee, Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) Chief Banyat Kantha, along with other officials and representatives of local taxi companies.

Also present were representatives from Phuket Mai Khao Sakhu Co Ltd (PMK) and Phuket Limousine and Business Services Cooperative (PBC), the the two companies that have rights to operate taxis at Phuket International Airport under a concession with Airports of Thailand (AoT).

Representatives of the two companies confirmed that the companies had been giving 20% discounts off taxi fares since the effects of the global pandemic started being felt in Phuket, and they asked for “cooperation” from the Phuket Provincial Government, said the report.

The representatives explained that the fare from the airport to Patong, a distance of “about” 38.9 kilometres, used to be B800, but right now they were charging only B640, the report added.

Giving another example, the representatives said taxi drivers used to charge B1,000 for travelling from the airport to Kata, a distance they said was “about 46km”, but their drivers were now charging only B800, the report noted.

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“At these prices, they may not be able to cover the cost [of operating a taxi] because we need to handle many costs, including insurance, petrol and the concession,” said one of the representatives, not named by the PR Phuket report.

“However, we will charge these rates as long as the pandemic continues and Phuket does not have the number of tourists like it did before the pandemic,” the representative said.

“We will discuss again about when we will return to charging the normal rate,” he concluded.

It was not explained whether AoT, the Thai public company that resulted from the privatisation of the state-owned Airports Authority of Thailand (AAT), would offer any relief in the concessions to be paid for operating taxis at the airport.

AoT reported gross income of just B7.7 billion for fiscal year 2020 ( October-September), compared with B28.26bn for 2017.

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Kurt | 10 July 2021 - 14:35:13

@ Christy Sweet, boycott is easy to sett. Organize with around you living foreigners a to/from Phuket airport transport club/circle among each other. Such we have in Chalong-Rawai-Naiharn area. Excluding lot of taxi/van rides. We all serve each other with closed wallets. It's not about money, just we don't like to be scammed/taken for ride by thugs and play them out.

Christy Sweet | 10 July 2021 - 13:41:31

They're eating dinner with those thugs  who are their sons, brothers and cousins. Only a sustained, well organized boycott can change it. Don't look to Thai govt to undermine corruption when it is the very foundation of the economy.    

Kurt | 10 July 2021 - 12:23:39

@Faxcinated, .."why are they so scared of a bunch of thugs?"  Simple, the bunch of thugs are untouchable and powerful with all their 'helpers' in government positions. On Phuket a bunch of thugs rules the waves.

Sam Thompson | 10 July 2021 - 07:44:47

I would like to hear their definition of "normal" when describing fare/fair charges. They are living in this dystopian world where the tail is wagging the dog

Kurt | 09 July 2021 - 10:58:41

Well, it is clear who runs 'transport phuket'. Is it not nice that the transport mafia is willing to be fair for a short (?) time? Guess Phuket Officialdom received that message thankful with many respectful thai wai for temporarily not tourist scamming. Any talks about meter use? Why taxis on Phuket have meters?

Capricornball | 08 July 2021 - 21:50:17

So, the transport mafia has agreed to be fair for now, with the understanding that they will be back to their thievery and fleecing people as soon as possible.  They will never cease being the scourge of Phuket, and will forever continue to ruin the reputation of Thailand all by themselves.

Fascinated | 08 July 2021 - 18:59:23

No change- taxis dictating to the Gov't what they will do instead of the other way round. They should do as they are told, not what they 'agree'.  Why are they so scared of a bunch of thugs?

Xi_Virus | 08 July 2021 - 17:58:52

The only group of tourists who managed to bypass these gangsters were in fact Xhinese from mainland. 

They brought in their own low-quality busses including own bus drivers who had no idea about Phuket road conditions.

Tourists were picked up at the airport and transported to their rooms (often owned by Xhinese).


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