The Phuket News wholeheartedly supports this game-changing endeavour and congratulates the PKCD for their willingness to push ahead with the project despite the risk of backlash from the island’s notoriously monopolistic and protectionist taxi industry.
This could be the watershed moment which will forever change the island’s woefully inadequate public transport infrastructure for the better and help break the tuk-tuk and taxi mafia’s stranglehold on the island’s public transport sector – particularly in the tourist hotspots on Phuket’s west coast.
PKCD Executive Director Watchara Jaru-ariyanon told The Phuket News in an interview that Governor Norraphat Plodthong, along with other key government officials will be in attendance when the service is launched on Feb 28.
The Phuket News calls on those officials to not merely spout platitudes about improving public transport and grab self-promotional photo opportunities, but to publicly commit to ensuring that this new bus service can be conducted free from threats or interference from those with vested interests in seeing it fail. And if it is necessary for the police or army to escort the buses, should threats or actual violence emerge.
We also call on all of our readers, tourists and locals alike, to use the service and spread the word on social media to show the tuk-tuk and taxi mafia that times are changing and they will have to begin pricing their services competitively if they wish to keep customers.
If this bus service is a success, it might also support the case for expanding a modern, reliable and affordable bus network across the whole island, rather than spending countless billions on a light rail project which so far lacks any evidence or research indicating that it will be an effective solution to the island’s transport woes.
No one expects this one initiative to instantly solve the entrenched problems with Phuket’s public transport, but we can do our best to support it in the hope that it will eventually serve as an example of what is possible when simple and logical solutions to problems are implemented and supported.