Visitors to Phuket will no longer have to contend with being ripped off by taxi services thanks to a recent agreement that was reached between officials and local transportation providers. This move is designed to eliminate decades of complaints from holiday makers who have been at the mercy of unscrupulous drivers and companies who have collectively held a monopoly on the island’s transportation options.
Standardised fares are set to go into effect within weeks, and rates will be posted in multiple languages along with a customer service hotline. Anyone who wishes to offer taxi service will be required to apply and register with a local regulatory agency. Applications are only being accepted from individuals who already provide taxi service on the island, and this step is intended to ensure that only good drivers will remain when this transition is complete.
Examples of the new fare structure (in Thai Baht) include:
Phuket Airport to Patong Beach: 650
Karon to Phuket Town: 550
Rawai to the Port of Phuket: 750
Regulating taxi service is just one of many steps that local officials have been taking in recent months to clean up Phuket’s image and promote the island as a welcoming and accommodating holiday destination. The island’s economy is dependent on tourism, and visitor numbers have been steadily declining due to the global recession and tougher competition from neighboring areas.
Frustrating and sometimes violent encounters with shady taxi drivers have caused many to consider other alternatives such as Koh Samui and Krabi due to their lower prices and friendly atmosphere.