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Phuket official clarify taxi types

PHUKET: The Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) has provided an explanation regarding the three main types of taxis allowed to operate in Phuket, each with its own specific terms and conditions. This clarification was shared by Move Forward Phuket MP-elect Somchart Techathavorncharoen, who visited the agency on May 23 seeking answers to the pressing questions surrounding Phuket’s taxi industry.

By The Phuket News

Friday 26 May 2023, 04:31PM

In his most recent taxi-related Facebook post on May 25, Mr Somchart stated that he met with Kornpitak Assuwan, the head of the PLTO’s "academic group" (or "policy division"), along with Somsak Phokamueangnong, referred to as the PLTO’s ’transportation scholar’.

During the meeting, Mr Somchart pointed out that complaints about Phuket’s taxis were the most common enquiries he received. He emphasized the need to clarify laws and regulations that could act as tools for resolving conflicts among taxi drivers.

Based on the PLTO’s classification provided to the MP-elect, the three main types of taxis in Phuket can be distinguised by their license plates. It’s important to note that this classification pertains only to "regular" cars (referred to by Mr. Somchart as "sedans") and excludes passenger vans, tuk-tuks, and other specialised commercial vehicles.

  1. Yellow Plate Taxis. These are passenger cars ("sedans") with yellow and black license plates, excluding vans, tuk-tuks, and other “special” commercial vehicles. Yellow plate taxis must operate as taximeters, using certified meters to measure the distance of a ride and determine fares. Drivers are permitted to pick up passengers anywhere on the island, including cruising around Phuket to find people signaling for a ride. They can also accept orders through certified applications or just stay parked at preferred locations waiting for clients.

  2. Green Plate Taxis. Described by Mr. Somchart as "business service vehicles," "sightseeing cars," and "cars for hire," these taxis have green and white license plates. Green taxis are non-metered and cater specifically to hotels or tour companies, picking up passengers only at designated locations or through certified mobile applications. Green plate taxi drivers are not allowed to pick up passengers on the side of the road. To register a green plate taxi, proof of a specific number of vehicles needed for the Phuket tourism industry must be provided.

    C and C Marine
  3. White Plate Taxis. Often referred to as "black taxis" (read “illegal taxis”), these vehicles have black and white license plates, indicating personal, rather than commercial, use. Despite the common understanding of black and white meaning illegal, the PLTO has confirmed that white plate taxis can be used legally in one specific case: if the driver receives orders exclusively through a certified mobile application and the car is properly registered with the PLTO, evidenced by a sticker. However, white plate taxis cannot accept jobs from hotels or tour companies or park and wait for passengers. Their sole mode of operation is through a mobile app.

Mr Somchart’s publication did not mention the specific legal mobile applications themselves. According to PLTO Chief Adcha Buachan, only two taxi apps are currently considered legal in Phuket: Hello Phuket and Grab. Mr Adcha had repeatedly said this since the most recent taxi crackdown started in Phuket in February, 2023.

Furthermore, the report does not clarify any existing quotas, if any, on the various types of taxis registered with the PLTO. This issue was one of the major complaints raised by green taxi drivers from other provinces in February.

According to the drivers, the PLTO has long refused to allow individuals to legally register a single vehicle as a green plate taxi to work as fully legal independent taxi drivers. Meanwhile, the PLTO has granted this privilege to registered juristic persons, such as companies, cooperatives, and associations.

The report also fails to address the regulations concerning the registration of personal vehicles with black and white license plates as legal Grab or Hello Phuket vehicles. While these vehicles may not enjoy the same operational freedom as green or yellow plate taxis, they are still permitted to accept orders through mobile apps, providing drivers with a legitimate and taxable source of income.

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cheez | 28 May 2023 - 10:36:34

@ Pascale.... I do see that 'Comment on this story' at the end of every story invites all readers to submit their comment on the story published - just as you yourself have also commented, but your comment was not about the story.  What is your problem?  Can't share the Comment space for it's legitimate purpose?

Pascale | 27 May 2023 - 11:11:57

Still no new government in place but the super moaner below complains already. 

JohnC | 27 May 2023 - 09:11:45

So no Moving Forward on this problem. One of the biggest complaints about Phuket is the taxis and already the new government is bowing down to them...


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