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15-07-10, 04:04 PM #1Paknam Web Online Staff
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Phuket maximum Taxi fares set: DO NOT PAY MORE!
Patong Tuk-Tuk Fares: 'Negotiate' the New Code
By Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison
Thursday, July 15, 2010
PHUKET'S most powerful group of tuk-tuk, taxi, motorcycle and vehicle-for-rent operators decided yesterday to set new maximum fares - but to also allow totally free negotiations of fares downwards.
The decision represents the first official rise in the fares that the new Patong Taxi Federation says have officially been in place since being approved by the Transport Department on December 13, 2000 - almost 10 years ago.
The federation's president, Preechavude Keesin, told Phuketwan that increased costs justified the review of the existing fares. But he does recognise the need to make the island's private transport more competitive.
''Patong is a free trade area,'' he said. ''Thais and expats come here to run businesses, as long as they are competitive and ethical. Now Patong is different, and we understand that Phuket is in competition with other holiday destinations around the world.
''The number of vehicles is not as important as the need to be competitive. It's always going to be about demand and supply.''
The new maximum fares are effective immediately.
A trip from Jungceylon, - the starting place for all the new calculations - to Tesco or Big C supermarket in Phuket City costs a maximum of 400 baht one-way. A trip from Jungceylon to Karon beach costs 300 baht one-way, max. A ride from Patong to the airport costs 800 baht one way, or 1500 baht for a round trip. The trip to Phuket Town costs 500 baht one-way, 900 baht return.
Tuk-Tuk Fares Schedule Photo Album -(Many fares visible plus details where to report rip offs)
The federation was set up four months ago, Khun Preechavude said, to improve the quality standards within the industry.
There was certainly a host of neat mauve uniform shirts at yesterday evening's meeting in Patong of about 13 leaders of the different elements that make up the federation.
What was decided at the two-hour meeting will be conveyed by letter to all members of the federation, who will have to abide by the new ''negotiable charter'' of maximum fares.
Khun Preechavude said he had no comment about buses or other alternative forms on transport. His aim is to give the federation a more modern approach to service - and economics.
''Customers will be able to discuss the fare they wish to pay and reach an agreement with drivers,'' he said. Phuketwan has been told by tourists that fares in Patong that cost 200 baht a year ago can now be negotiated down to 150 baht.
In practical terms, what seems a reasonable price to transport five people from the north end of Patong to the south end becomes less reasonable for a couple or a single traveller, which is probably where the motorcycle-taxi would present a better alternative . . . as long as there are helmets to go around.
As for taxi-tuk-tuk meters, Khun Preechavude repeated that the federation accepted the idea of meters. But he said illegal taxis would continue to pose a problem and prevent the broad introduction of meters.
''Ninety percent of Phuket's cabs are illegal 'black' taxis,'' he said. ''Until the illegal taxis are controlled, the industry won't be efficiently run.
''Just about every person who loses their job in a resort jumps into a car and tries to earn money as a taxi to get by.''
Khun Preechavude said it was unfair to use the term ''mafia'' about Patong drivers because it was a ''free trade'' area where people can choose how to travel and at what cost. Other parts of the island were not so democratic, he said.
Parking disputes arising from rental vehicles and taxis controlling the public spaces along Patong's beachfront were also discussed.
Colonel Jakkawat Boontaveekulsawat, of Kathu police station, told the meeting that the federation would be given a little more time to negotiate a settlement. Most of the spaces are being taken by 'black' taxis, the meeting heard.
An overhaul of the existing one-way road system in Patong by the local authorities is continuing, Khun Preechavude said. Once all the planning for the major roads around Patong is in place, parking for tuk-tuks and taxis throughout the whole of Patong will also be restructured.
Phuketwan was only news organisation with a reporter at last night's meeting.
The federation appears to be doing its best from within the existing industry to produce an economically-sound model for Patong's private transport. More reforms are needed to the traditional village-based concepts that have failed to meet 21st century needs. The entire island of Phuket still requires an effective, low-cost public transport system.
Last edited by Khun Don; 15-07-10 at 04:17 PM.
15-07-10, 06:23 PM #2
Re: Phuket maximum Taxi fares set: DO NOT PAY MORE!
this is still ridiculous.
is the local transport system still in place? last used it in 2007 I think. the big trucks converted to taxis taking people from Phuket town to the beaches for example, used by the locals. 30 or 40 baht per person. that thing.
and is it still possible to rent a motorcycle for 200 baht a day? that was reasonable.
the airport bus is also a good scheme, but a surprisingly small number of people seem to be showing any interest. (as of March this year - we only went out to the main road to catch a bus to Phang Nga and got away with spending only 2 hours 50 minutes on this stupid island.)
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