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Phuket taxi drivers get their way, no reduction in fares

PHUKET: Officials from the Phuket Land Transportation Office (PLTO) have bowed down to the demands of local taxi drivers and agreed not to reduce taxi fares on the island. The Phuket News learned of the decision from the Director of the PLTO today (Aug 25).

tourism, transport,

The Phuket News

Thursday 25 August 2016, 03:40PM

Director of the Phuket Land Transportation Office Sommai Sutkhao. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot
Director of the Phuket Land Transportation Office Sommai Sutkhao. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

PLTO director Sommai Sutkhao told The Phuket News, “I had a meeting with relevant officials and representatives from local transport associations to discuss reducing taxi fares last month. However, the idea was dismissed by them immediately.

“The reason they gave for not wanting to reduce the fares was because they use a queuing system in the areas in which they work. They said if the prices were reduced this system would not work,” he said.

Mr Sommmai explained that he understands that the cost of living in Phuket is too high, however, he said that if fares were reduced it would affect many people’s livelihoods.

“We can only ask the drivers to treat customers fairly and we have requested that if people travel less than 4 kilometres they should consider charging cheaper fares. The representatives said they would discuss this with their drivers and send a letter of confirmation back to my office with their decision,” he said.

“So far have not receive such letters, but for the time being we have asked them to treat customers fairly by not charge a high price.

“We continue to receive complaints from people about fares in Phuket being high, but most of the complaints we received via our call centre lack information about the taxi that serviced them, so officials can not proceed with further action.

“If you have complaint against public transport drivers, please get their licence plate number so we know who to call,” he added.


Mr Sommmai also confirmed that taxi fares on the island will not increase if the Transport Ministry approves a 5 per cent increase rate this year.

“We will use the fares set out by the Provincial Office on December 25, 2012, ” he said.

Deputy Transport Minister Ormsin Chivapruck said the Transport Ministry is considering approving a 5% increase on taxi fares this year, on Aug 15.

In 2014, the ministry agreed to raise taxi fares by 13%. However, it only granted an 8% increase, holding back the rest until drivers could prove they had improved their services. (See story here.)

The PLTO considered lowering the island’s taxi fares following a video of a Thai speaking westerner complaining about the cost of a taxi on the island going viral.

The video clip was initially uploaded by Facebook user, Jack Brown on the afternoon of June 18 and by the next morning it had amassed more than 105,000 views and 11,000 Likes. (See story here.)



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LES | 26 August 2016 - 20:40:56

My advice and i am sure that of many other posters is "walk".Wherever you can, arrange a friend pick up, or use a cheaper motorcycle taxi.When the demand dies so will these extortionists.
However this problem is as old as father time and becomes quite tedious as nothing ever will change on this Island, too many interested parties and in high place too.
Who is behind the Tuk Tuks, who i...

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petermach | 26 August 2016 - 16:09:43

this is scandalous and shameful ,it shows the power of taxis in Phuket which can rip off tourist with their unjustified rates and that, with a "green light" from officials.Nothing justifies such rates even worse, gazoline price droped from 1.5 USD/liter in 2012 to 0.8 USD/ liter in 2016 and in the same time taxi rates have doubled . This decision is clearly showing that taxis are retakin...

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Kurt | 26 August 2016 - 13:58:38

I agree 100% with Sir Burr.

So many foreigners living on Phuket are fed up with the bad tuk tuk and taxi service that they single them out.
Many foreigners on Phuket now have driving service-circles among themselves. ( with closed wallet).
Bring/pick up each other Phuket airport, bring/pick up shopping/cinema's. Etc.
Pleasant, safe driving, and no shame thai rip off's due to thai law...

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CaptainJack69 | 26 August 2016 - 13:19:36

Two things are clear (and have been for a very long time). One, everyone hates Phuket taxi's. Local Thai's, foreign tourists, Thai Tourists, expats, EVERYONE hates them. Two, no one can do anything about them. It's interesting the PLTO now saying they wont adjust prices as the last we heard from them they were saying they had no control over taxi's at all. So which is it? They clea...

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Discover Thainess | 26 August 2016 - 11:24:56

I doubt that the PLTO read the comments section here, but on the offchance:
Dear PLTO, on behalf of all tourists and residents on Phuket, both Thai and Foreign, who have no choice but to use the taxis on the island, I would like to confirm for you that you have taken a huge backward step for Phuket here. To allow Phuket to be held to ransom by this group of taxi drivers is a poor decision. Phuket...

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Ed Sanders | 26 August 2016 - 11:21:05

Boy...big surprise here... !!! NOT !!!  This entire silly process just reaffirms who controls this crooked place.  Clearly, all of Thailand's ills are related to Thai officials that do nothing but look out for themselves and their crooked cronies.

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Joe12 | 26 August 2016 - 10:50:13

I'd love to have the Transport Association officials come and work for me. They demonstrate a commitment to service and to their workers and are erudite enough to present cogent arguments that are difficult to argue against. And if they can allow workers to achieve high incomes to be able to afford luxury homes and cars (if that is what reported here - albeit with no evidence of the items bein...

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Bigaresort | 26 August 2016 - 10:40:04

Sir (or what ever)
How can you look in the mirror every morning and see yourselfe?Dont you have any selfrespect? Horst

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Sir Burr | 26 August 2016 - 08:55:01

The article shows who really runs Phuket.
Total cowardice shown by the PLTO.

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Nasa123 | 26 August 2016 - 06:52:32

If Tux Tux drivers don`t earn money, I don`t  not understand it ?. I live in Land& House in Chalong and here we have earn money I do not understand it at least 6 Tux Tux owners with large houses whit Volvo and Mercedes parked inside. And they come every night about 04:00 and wake up everyone in the streets they driving with the noisy Tux Tux and full music on. The same in Rawai they have big h...

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