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“Control your emotions”, Vice Governor warns Phuket’s disgruntled taxi drivers

Phuket airport taxis
Phuket airport taxis awaiting passengers

Phuket’s vice governor has told the island’s taxi drivers that they need to control their emotions when dealing with drivers from ride-hailing apps. Amnuay Pinsuwan was speaking during a meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall on Wednesday, November 22.

Ride-hailing, or ride-sharing apps like Grab and Bolt have become hugely popular in Thailand as expats and tourists find ways around the extortionate pricing of the island’s taxi gangs.

At the meeting were representatives from various taxi cooperatives across the island, along with members of the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Committee.

According to a Phuket News report, the meeting was called in response to a list of grievances from Phuket taxi drivers, who continue to moan about the competition.

Their list of complaints, submitted to provincial officials last month…

1. There is currently no law in place to support app taxis
2. Ride-hailing apps cannot be controlled and monitored
3. Ride-hailing apps continue to get customers, even though their vehicles are illegal
4. Passengers are not safe
5. Passengers are not protected by law (no insurance coverage)

(Our thoughts…

  1. Nationally, yes
  2. Clearly incorrect and the apps have their own-self-monitoring with reviews and maps of travel
  3. A distortion of the actual situation
  4. Clearly, and demonstrably, wrong
  5. True)

The drivers are calling on local officials to implement the following measures:

1. Create a specific law to govern app taxis
2. Have the Land Transport Department issue special licence plates for app taxis
3. Make the compulsory stickers that app taxis must bear larger
4. Specify the name of the person requesting permission to use the vehicle as an app taxi

Responding to the complaints, Amnuay says Phuket taxi drivers need to cooperate with the authorities and report any illegally operating drivers. However, the vice-governor also told drivers they need to keep their emotions in check, to avoid damaging the island’s reputation.

“There must be no clashes and quarrels in order to create a good image for Phuket Province and matters of law enforcement. We ask for cooperation from operators to report offenders through the Traffy Fondue application, which has 120 agencies in Phuket province as administrators to receive reports from citizens and work as problem-solving tools in all matters.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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