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Phuket Provincial Transportation Office Brokers Breakthrough Deal For Taxis

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Phuket Provincial Transportation Office brokers breakthrough deal for taxis

Phuket Gazette

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PLTO chief Teerayut Prasertpol issued stern warnings to drivers who do not complete the registration process by the deadline. Photo: Chutharat Plerin

PHUKET: -- A breakthrough arrangement with banks and insurance companies means that all taxi drivers in Phuket have until February 28 to become legally registered – or face a 2,000-baht fine every time they are caught carrying passengers.

The deal, brokered through the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office (PPTO), was announced at a meeting with illegal taxi drivers at the Amora Beach Resort Phuket in Bang Tao on Wednesday.

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PPTO chief Teerayut Prasertpol explained that one of the biggest obstacles for many illegal drivers was changing the registration of their vehicles from “private” to “public” so they can be registered with the PPTO as taxis.

“Drivers claimed banks and finance companies required deposits of up to 10,000 baht in order to release the registration books which they hold as collateral for loans taken out to buy cars,” he said.

The drivers need the books in their hands in order to present them to the PPTO so officials can physically register the change from private to public.

Many banks and finance companies do not readily hand car registration books back to people who have taken out loans to buy cars as it is the only collateral the companies have in ensuring the vehicles remain in their legal possession.

Mr Teerayut raised this issue with Land Transport Department Director-General Somchai Siriwattanachoke in December.

The result was a meeting with representatives from Thanachart Bank headquarters in Bangkok, which provides financing for about half the 2,882 illegal taxis operating in Phuket.

“Thanachart Bank has agreed to waive the deposit for drivers who give permission for the bank to hand the registration book directly to the PPTO in order to change the registration type. This saves the taxi drivers from having to come up with the money needed for the deposit,” Mr Teerayut explained.

“Other financial services companies are taking care of their customers in the same way. This is a big help to the taxi drivers who want to get green license plates [have their vehicles registered as legal taxis],” he added.

INSURANCE

Another huge obstacle in encouraging Phuket taxi drivers to become legal was the hike in insurance premiums they will need to pay in order to comply with compulsory insurance requirements.

To this, Thanachart Bank Phuket branch Deputy Sales Director Thawatchai Bamrungchuer explained that Thanachart Bank had also launched a campaign offering discounted insurance packages.

“The PPTO asked us to help solve the taxi problem with illegal taxis, and we agreed. We now have a special promotion for Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi,” he said.

Mr Thawatchai stressed the importance of comprehensive insurance, noting that drivers using personal cars as taxis would be insured for the people in the car, but not for damage to the car itself.

The bank, as the insurance provider, would not assume any responsibility for the car in that case, he said.

“If you buy insurance for a public service vehicle, both people and the car are covered. And it is better for Phuket’s tourism image. Taxi drivers and passengers will have more confidence on the road,” he added.

NO LENIENCY

Chief Teerayut believes that not all illegal taxi drivers will be able to complete the registration process in time, but he offered them no leniency.

Even if the owners display the mandatory stickers on both sides of their cars – bearing the taxi number, the name of the owner in Thai and English, and the complaint hotline number 1158 – any drivers found operating a vehicle as a taxi without the green plates after February 28 will be at the mercy of the Phuket Police.

“From March 1, illegal taxi drivers will no longer have the protection of the PPTO, even if they have the proper stickers.

“Traffic police will fine them 2,000 baht each time they are caught, and this is out of our hands,” he said.

He added that the PLTO has a list of “every black taxi driver service on the island.”

Phuket Vice Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada supported the PPTO chief, saying, “If anyone has any information about illegal taxis still operating on the island, let me know. I will go after them.”

THE ROAD AHEAD

All is not bleak for drivers who may be struggling. They can still apply for green plate registration. That deadline has been extended until April 30, Mr Teerayut said.

However, he noted, “If they cannot get a green plate by the end of April, then even if they have registered with us, they will no longer be considered. All the lists will be deleted.”

He reminded the drivers that having a green plate benefited them above all.

“It is your permanent career, and it is legal,” he said.

Source: http://www.phuketgaz...axis-20168.html

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-- Phuket Gazette 2013-02-09

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I don't detect anything about making the fares reasonable, perhaps I did not read this carefully enough.

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I can't see this changing things much. Chances are deals will be made, between the various parties involved, and things will continue on, more or less, the same as before. The funny thing is how obviously these things seems to go on: completely legal, illegal players move in, things get so bad that something has to be done, amnesty, crack-down, rinse and repeat.

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Even if the owners display the mandatory stickers on both sides of their cars – bearing the taxi number, the name of the owner in Thai and English, and the complaint hotline number 1158 – any drivers found operating a vehicle as a taxi without the green plates after February 28 will be at the mercy of the Phuket Police.

Well, that's a relief... cheesy.gif

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I thought I've seen 1584 on these "taxis" of which there are way too many. Funny how when the government said they were getting things done in the transportation department, they "recommended" that they form a co op and standardise fares. Good thing there are no cartels here to instigate price fixing.

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It will never stop! After this deadline, they need another deadline. Many firstime new car owners need to drive/finance there car with driving as a black taxi, this year. And they will argue "Why I can't become legal? All the others became too!"It will never stop.And with this prices, it is obvious, that tourists are the only targeted passengers.But on Phuket, the quote for tourists to taxi/TukTuk/'Limo'/.... is already 800:1. But the total year numbers!So it's about 1(Taxi/...) to 100 (Tourists) in high season.And that is for the 'all legalized' services.Plus the black taxis, plus the 'neigbours', .....Not to forget about all the 'big bus' traffic, that is cutting off there passenger numbers.And the motorbike/car renters.The cake has much to many pieces. I'm sure, the rise of the fairs can be expected for at least april.Anyone seen the new prices, on the blue placards in the airport arrival area? White stickers, new numbers. Outside still the original blue placards.And only 4 times a day, in 2.5 h intervalls, the airportbus is still doing half the service, it usually got the contract for.Now with the construction, even the meter taxis have to exit via the main exit. Now it can be an advantage, not to use the meter. I mean for the passenger!

opps "and the complaint hotline number 1158"

last time I checked, it was not 1158

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Edited by noob7

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"Brokers a breakthrough deal"?

Caved in is what I call it.

Who exactly is going to use these thousands of "taxis"? They can't be hailed, in fact, they're not even real taxis.

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"Brokers a breakthrough deal"?

Caved in is what I call it.

Who exactly is going to use these thousands of "taxis"? They can't be hailed, in fact, they're not even real taxis.

I agree. All that has been done is to legitimize all the illegal taxis and let them sit in their salas, protecting their turf and charging exorbitant fares. Great job PLTO!!!

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coffee1.gif More diratribe for the masses, i WILL be suprised if anything changes, really just means more ":tea money" for the BIBwhistling.gif

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"Brokers a breakthrough deal"?

Caved in is what I call it.

Who exactly is going to use these thousands of "taxis"? They can't be hailed, in fact, they're not even real taxis.

I agree. All that has been done is to legitimize all the illegal taxis and let them sit in their salas, protecting their turf and charging exorbitant fares. Great job PLTO!!!

Once again the public & even the "taxi" drivers are mere pawns in a huge money making scam. In most places taxis have meters, which they actually use, & you can flag them down anywhere.

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If a licenced taxi is not using it's taxi meter it is still operating illegally right? If that is correct, I am quite sure they can just go ahead and arrest all taxis on Phuket on the 1st of March, if that was what they really wanted. Sounds to me like the taxi mafia just got a few more freebies, and the tourists will continue to be cheated and attacked!

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If a licenced taxi is not using it's taxi meter it is still operating illegally right? If that is correct, I am quite sure they can just go ahead and arrest all taxis on Phuket on the 1st of March, if that was what they really wanted. Sounds to me like the taxi mafia just got a few more freebies, and the tourists will continue to be cheated and attacked!

Not all of the time it's illegal. The Taxi meter don't need to be in use for rides, that aren't starting at the Airport. A special rule for Phuket.

Maybe because they have usually no chance to pick up people outside the airport?

But to your point:

You are illegally paying a taxi, that is not using the meter. So your fault, anyway!

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