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Pattaya Daily News

26 August 2010 :: 12:08:45 pm 36591

Police & Baht Bus Co-op Meet over Crime & Congestion Issues

On Wednesday a meeting was held between Pattaya authorities and the Baht-Bus Cooperative in order to address issues of both parties involved with the integral public transport system. Branded as a success, the meeting sort to resolve issues of traffic congestion and crime prevention resultant from the Baht-Bus service.
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Pattaya, the 25th of August 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The meeting, organised at the Pattaya Baht-Bus Cooperative Office in Naklua, was scheduled by Pattaya Police Superintendent Colonel Nunthawut Suwanla-ong an his deputy’s in order to address the increasingly prevalent issues of crime and congestion involved with the key transport service. Chairman of the Baht-Bus Co-op Mr. Thawat Phuekbunnak was present at the meeting to represent the Baht-Bus Cooperative and its drivers.

First on the agenda was the issue of traffic congestion resultant from the operations of Baht-Bus drivers in the city. Col. Suwanla-ong explained that increasing reports of Baht-Buses illegally stopping in the traffic lanes has been significantly affecting traffic flow in several areas. He also referenced the significant safety risk that these practices are presenting to pedestrians, passengers and motorists.

Col. Suwanla-ong, in an attempt to resolve the issue without the need to decreased the fleet of Baht-Buses (currently 700), prompted Mr. Phuekbunnak to inform all drivers that they must only use the numerous designated Baht-Bus stations available throughout the city, especially on routes where stopping would significantly impede traffic flow (Beach Road).

In order to facilitate the aforementioned resolution, Col. Suwanla-ong advised that fines of between 400-1,000 baht will now be applied and enforced by authorities for Baht-Buses caught in breach of the traffic management plan. He further implored, “if the laws in place are adhered to by all involved parties, there is no need to decrease the fleet of buses servicing Pattaya.”

Mr. Phuekbunnak agreed that the current amount of Baht-Buses active in Pattaya was sufficient to support the population and tourist needs, adding that internal policies of the Co-op regarding traffic congestion were also being enforced with fines. At present the amount of buses operating Pattaya Beach Road routes have been restricted by the Baht-Bus Cooperative, with drivers of red-yellow stamped buses taking it in alternate days to service the highly trafficked route.

Second on the agenda was the issue of snatch/pickpocket crimes being perpetrated on passengers of the integral public transport system. Col. Suwanla-ong revealed issue as a significant blight on the service and that of Pattaya’s image as a safe tourism destination.

Addressing the issue of necklace snatching and pickpockets from passing motorcyclists and pedestrians, Col. Suwanla-ong proposed that the Baht-Buses be retrofitted with additional protective bars or advertising boards preventing easy access to passengers from outside the bus.

Theft incidents occurring on the bus where acknowledged as a significantly harder occurrence to prevent, although Col. Suwanla-ong advised that all bus drivers be instructed to maintain their vigilance in the observation of passengers and their safety.

In support of the Colonels proposal, Mr. Phuekbunnak revealed he would instruct all bus owners under the Cooperative to modify their vehicles in regards to crime prevention once a demonstrational model had been approved by all involved parties.

Finally, Mr. Phuekbunnak voiced the Baht-Bus Cooperatives concern regarding the operation of illegal buses in the city, which he stated, “are unnecessary and a threat to not only the livelihood of registered bus drivers but the reputation of the registered fleet as a whole.” He declared the existence of the Baht-Bus Cooperative as a suitable management facility for the fleet, currently working on ways to better service the population and tourists. Mr. Phuekbunnak advised that the illegal buses are becoming an increasing threat to the intentions of the Co-op, urging police to address the issue.

Col. Suwanla-ong agreed that unregistered Baht-Bus services were both illegal and an unnecessary requirement given the ability of registered Baht-Buses in servicing the city. He explained that he would seek to address the issue with his fellow district chiefs and officers involved with traffic and transport infractions.

Reporter : Yanwarrut   Photo : Yanwarrut   Category : Tourism News

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Chris Nui

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