333 at the beach Pro Property Partners British International School, Phuket
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

‘Urgent’ meeting fails to resolve ongoing taxi disputes

‘Urgent’ meeting fails to resolve ongoing taxi disputes

PHUKET: An “urgent” meeting was called at Provincial Hall earlier today (Mar 30) to discuss ways to resolve the ongoing issue of territory disputes among the island’s taxi drivers.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 30 March 2023, 04:17PM

However, it appeared that despite the intervention of Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, very little positive outcome emanated from the discussions.

Governor Narong chaired the 10am meeting and was joined by Rear Admiral Nattapong Yanothai Khachit, Deputy Director of Phuket Military Internal Security, Pol. Col. Jirasak Siemsak, Deputy Commander of the Phuket Provincial Police, and Adcha Buachan, head of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO).

Also present at the meeting were representatives on behalf of the director of Phuket Airport and representatives from Central Phuket Shopping Center.

The meeting came after two incidents at Central Festival Phuket that occurred in the past week, one last Friday (Mar 24) and the other on Monday (Mar 27). Both involved locally-based taxi drivers from the Andaman Phuket Car Taxi Service Cooperative Limited approaching and berating fellow taxi drivers who they argued were not legally allowed to operate in Phuket.

Both incidents attracted significant interest and reponses after they were aired on social media channels, something authorities are concerned will tarnish the image of Phuket as a desirable tourist destination.

In both situations the disputed taxi providers had been booked by customers via apps that are not legal in Thailand. Only on Monday (Mar 27), did Phuket officials inform local residents that Bolt and InDriver were both still considered illegal in Thailand, as they have not yet been approved by the Department of Land Transport.


The same post, issued by the Phuket Info Center, operating under the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, gave a reminder of ride-sharing apps approved by the Department of Land Transport, which included Hello Phuket, Grab, Robinhood, bonku, CABB and the AirAsia Super App.

However, the Public Relations Office of Phuket reports that at today’s meeting Mr Adcha listed only Hello Phuket and Grab as the legal app providers, highlighting that the former provides a total of 228 cars and the latter 111. Stickers from the PLTO would be clearly displayed in taxi windows to confirm to customers that they are legally permitted to operate, which Mr Aducha said he hopes will minimise any future confusion and conflict.

Any apps currently deemed illegal can apply for certification from the Department of Land Transport, which can be filed at the Phuket Provincial Transport Office, he added.

Mr Adcha made no mention of what is needed to contain green plate taxi driver behaviour or of refusing to register new taxis in the province, despite green plate drivers from Bangkok and other provinces challenging the PLTO’s right to ban them from working on the island, seemingly prefering to just blame the ‘illegal taxis’ for all the recent problems.

Today’s meeting concluded by stating that ongoing discussions and cooperation between relevant agencies will continue in the hopes of a solution being found, adding that anyone who experiences any similar situations with taxi disputes can contact the relevant local authorities directly, call hotline 1584 or make an official complaint via the Traffy Fondue app.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

* (Not Hotmail/Outlook)

Divebomber | 31 March 2023 - 20:28:33

If they turned on their meters instead of refusing and fixing the price people wouldn't need to look elsewhere a

DeKaaskopp | 31 March 2023 - 16:01:17

@Fascinated   Don't worry ! J. did announce twice now it would be time to leave this place. Hopefully he will relocate soon. But who knows ? 

Fascinated | 31 March 2023 - 10:08:25

Mr Ed why do you allow @JohnC to continue with his racist insults? Always amazed that people who hate the place and its institutions so much remain here.

JohnC | 31 March 2023 - 09:11:07

Phuket's image is already well and truly tarnished, has been for years. That is why the standard of tourists coming here now is so low. All these mouth-breathing knuckle draggers are doing is proving to the world media just how true this image really is!

Kurt | 30 March 2023 - 22:30:59

The idea, that you can resolve a most artificial, corrupt, cartels happening, what is supported by a PLTO that pretend not to know what is going on, or is corrupt and 'functions' at the wrong side of the laws. Mr Achda and his office not show having any affinity with the laws he has to implement/execute. They all just do ridiculous 'smoke curtain' shows. 

Capricornball | 30 March 2023 - 21:58:10

Of course nothing came out of this...that is what happens when dealing with a mafia-type group. A quick solution would be to legalize other apps, and make it a free market opportunity to those that have the proper license, safe and clean vehicles, and insurance. But the gov't hacks don't have the sack to make a stand for the betterment of public transport, instead kowtowing to the cartels.

Fascinated | 30 March 2023 - 19:12:49

Other drivers are not accountable to the APCTSCL but to the law, as THEY should be as well. As always the main issue of the thuggish behavior is being sidelined to blame shift onto others. I picked up a friend from a hotel the other day to run them to the airport and was accosted- none of their business what I was doing. Tapping on the dashcam quickly sent them scurrying for cover.

Fascinated | 30 March 2023 - 19:06:54

There's nothing to 'discuss'- TELL them that if they don't behave they will lose their licences or go to jail. The tail really needs to stop wagging the dog. Time to get these thugs under control island wide. Its only due to social media that they will be shamed into doing something. Tememberits not just foreigners they rip off, they do the same to their fellow Thais. No two tier f...

CaptainJack69 | 30 March 2023 - 18:57:54

Outdated attitudes (visitors from developed countries expect ride hailing apps), a business model that always was ludicrous (why do taxis have territories?, why do they park up at all?) and rampant corruption (how can a panel of Phukets highest ranking officials hold no sway?) still making Phuket look backward and corrupt. It could have all changed after COVID. Now it never will.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phuket cannabis businesses call for support

Absolutely it was never approved for recreational usage, but that provision got bent over backwar...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Facing down the taxi cartels

K Somchart is a brave man.. if he can change this then chapeaux.... just hope he will stay safe an...(Read More)

Phuket cannabis businesses call for support

stop issuing licences, stop online sell ( you can buy it anywhere online and could well be school k...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Facing down the taxi cartels

Perhaps the most widely held sentiment in Thailand is associated with the near universal disgust peo...(Read More)

Russian tourist drowns at Patong Beach

Same same, different year...some things will never change. Dangerous beaches, clueless visitors, and...(Read More)

Lao activist’s killing in Isan raises questions

Thailand's military regime is, and has always been incapable of conducting a "credible and ...(Read More)

Prayut allays fears over transfer of power

Now, MFP and Pheu Thai huddle/row over House Speaker job. In a democratic coalition they should givi...(Read More)

Russian tourist drowns at Patong Beach

Seen the weather predictions, the Life Guards should have been already patrolling that time. Not a s...(Read More)

Further crackdown on illegal foreigners underway

Raise Phuket image as safe/desirable(?) destination, better start sanation of PLTO/taxi cartels. The...(Read More)

Further crackdown on illegal foreigners underway

If everything starts with law full functioning Immigration, not provoking their own laws, like provi...(Read More)