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Eighty-seven unlicenced tuk tuk operators from the Tuk Tuk Service Club finally got their way yesterday (May 11) when they were told that they will be given licences and a brand new route where they can operate.
The decision came after the operators gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (May 11) to ask Phuket governor for a chance to obtain licences and have an area in which they can operate.
The drivers decided to meet with the governor after being fined for operating without licences.
Daroon Suksai, President of the Public Transport Cooperative Club said to governor Nisit Jansomwong, “We have come today to beg for you to help us.”
Gov Nisit told Mr Daroon, “If I help you I want to make sure that you won’t break the rules. You must give me your word.”
Mr Daroon replied, “I give you my word that we won’t break the rules. We just want officials to help the people [drivers].”
“We can do a tuk tuk service but this will be resticted to Phuket Town only,” he said.
Gov Nisit added, “Honestly, Phuket Town people still want to have public transport, and this will be a big change for them.
“I will tell the Phuket Transport Office to set fair prices, rules, and times for which the tuk tuks can operate.”
Mr Teerayut went on to say that it will take about three months to set up the new service but he will try his hardest to speed up the process.
“A trial for the new tuk tuk service in Phuket Town will start in July,” he said.
However, he also said that the service will be restricted to the 87 tuk tuks on the list, and that they will only be able to operate around Phuket Town and not outside of that area.
Gov Nisit concluded that Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkhaosuttirak and a committee will set the rules and prices and approve all paperwork so that the tuk tuk service can start in July.
However, he also stated that all tuk tuks must be either yellow or red and that tourists must be taken care of. If a driver has an argument with a tourist, he must inform the police.
“If any rules are broken the drivers licence will be cancelled immediately,” he said.