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Phuket MP-elect pushes to allow ‘taxi app’ drivers at airport

Phuket MP-elect pushes to allow ‘taxi app’ drivers at airport

PHUKET: Move Forward Phuket MP-elect Somchart Techathavorncharoen has submitted a formal request to allow private taxi drivers using taxi apps to serve tourists at the airport. If approved, the move would break a decades-long taxi cartel stranglehold on serving tourists arriving via Phuket’s critical tourism portal.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 25 May 2023, 04:22PM

The formal request to allow ’taxi app’ drivers to pick up tourists at Phuket airport. Image: Somchart Techathavorncharoen / Facebook

The formal request to allow ’taxi app’ drivers to pick up tourists at Phuket airport. Image: Somchart Techathavorncharoen / Facebook

Mr Somchart posted the formal request on his official Facebook post today (May 25), with a message explaining, “I have sent complaints and suggestions from people in Phuket about tourists dragging their luggage in the rain to get a taxi through an electronic system outside Phuket Airport.”

The formal request is addressed to Suthipong Kongpool, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), with a copy addressed to the Minister of Transport.

The letter was also copied to Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Monchai Tanode, General Manager of Phuket International Airport (AoT Phuket), which is operated by Airports of Thailand (AoT).

Mr Somchart explained in the letter that had received complaints of tourists dragging their luggage through the rain to reach the main road in front of the airport just so they could use a taxi ordered by an app.

Not expressly noted in the letter, but commonly understood, is that such tourists would rather choose the inconvenience in plain refusal to use the taxi cooperative cartel drivers operating at the airport.

“Airports in Thailand should provide convenience and safety for tourists to access their legally hired cars by providing a parking for pickup point with signs for tourists inside the airport, as is done in foreign countries such as Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, India, etc,” Mr Somchart wrote.

“In my opinion, inconvenience to tourists is one of the obstacles in the Phuket tourism industry.

Please be informed accordingly to consider the complaint,” he added,

The letter was signed off marking Mr Somchart “as Acting Member of the House of Representatives, Phuket Province, Region 1.”

Mr Somchart is the MP-elect for Phuket Constituency 1, which comprises Phuket Town (Talad Yai and Talad Neua subdistricts), Koh Kaew and Ratsada.

Mr Somchart noted in his message on Facebook, “If I receive a reply letter, I will inform people about any progress.”

Although they have yet to be officially sworn into his office, following their strong wins in the May 14 national election Mr Somchart and his Move Forward Phuket MP-elect counterparts have already started tackling some of the critical issues affecting tourists and residents on the island.

Mr Somchart on Tuesday (May 23) visited Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong and Phuket City Police Chief Col Pratuang Ponmana to discuss ongoing violent and aberrant behaviour by taxi drivers against ‘taxi app’ drivers in Phuket. The most recent incident reported was a Grab taxi driver having a tyre punctured in Patong last night.

Also discussed on Tuesday was the problem of corrupt police, or people impersonating police officers, extorting monthly payments from local people.

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Prab | 26 May 2023 - 21:27:16

hope K Somchart as some good security around... we know..sometime in this island people tend to disappear for no reson..

JohnC | 26 May 2023 - 08:36:04

This should stir up some strife. The best thing that can happen in many years. Let's see if the knuckle dragging oxygen thieves blatantly called 'taxi services' will accept their time being protected by corrupt PLTO officials may finally be numbered.

Timothy | 26 May 2023 - 07:39:46

I see that he didn't send the PLTO a copy of letter. I guess he figured why bother. He knows that the mafia head would never agree to allow this. FFS, why is the PLTO allowed to be operated by the same crook year after year? Excellent start my the MFP and Khun Somchart!!

Capricornball | 25 May 2023 - 20:01:40

This will be the truest test yet of who is calling the shots...whether it be the rule of law...or the rule of the criminal PLTO and their cartels.  !!! GO Khun Somchart !!!  Phuket needs you! 


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