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Pattaya Daily News

18 June 2014 :: 01:06:36 am 89003

Phuket Opinion: Making changes to Phuket’s taxi system

The whole island – apart from the taxi drivers (and possibly even some of them) – applauded the arrests of more than 100 criminal drivers and the destruction of dozens of illegal taxi stands over the past 10 days.
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PHUKET: June 17, 2014 [Pattaya Daily News]; But already, depressing signs are emerging that some officials, some police and, of course, the taxi community, want to bring back the old system, or a sanitised, “more orderly” version of it.


At a meeting in Karon on Tuesday night to discuss options following the arrests there of taxi drivers and the mayor of the town, it was suggested that taxi drivers should be registered as being stationed at specific points along main roads in Kata and Karon. They would not be allowed to pick up from other points.


This is precisely the territorial, feudal system that existed before and caused so much tension, occasionally bursting into violence.


Teerayut Prasertpol of the Transport Department, so often the voice of reason, said he wanted to see a system whereby a taxi driver could bring a passenger from the airport to Karon, and then take another passenger on the return journey to the airport.


At the moment this is impossible: the Karon taxi drivers claim a monopoly on all passenger pick-ups in their territory, so an airport driver has to go back empty.


It’s double the fuel, double the time, double the air pollution, double the fare.


Pleas were also made at the meeting for hotels to enfold taxi drivers in their embrace, allowing them to station themselves again on hotel property and “become members of the hotel family”.


The hotel representatives must have been frankly appalled.


They have only just managed to get rid of the abusive drivers parked on their premises, and now they are being asked to take them back?


What Phuket needs is a taxi system like Bangkok’s, where any taxi can pick passengers up anywhere and drop them off anywhere, and meters are used.


But as long as support for a “more orderly” version of the corrupt and monopolistic old system continues to come from officials and the police, this will remain a pipe dream, and all the work done to arrest criminal drivers and demolishing their lairs will have been for nothing.


What a terrible waste that would be.


View the original story on The Phuket News

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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