PHUKET: Phuket officials plan to ask for permission to raise the standard rates charged by metered taxis on the island despite the announcement by the Minister of Transport yesterday that no taxi fares would be raised anywhere in Thailand.
“We believe that when Transport Minister Chatchart Sitthipan hears why we want to increase the fares, he may make an exception in our case,” said Jaturong Kaewkasi, Phuket Land Transport officer.
One reason why Phuket taxi fares should be raised was articulated by Phuket Vice Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada at the end of August (story here
), when he said, “We will increase taxi fares as part of our campaign to solve the problem of taxi-driver cheats in Phuket.”
“If the standard fares rise, taxi drivers will have more incentive to use meters instead of charging flat rates,” he told the Phuket Gazette
Mr Jaturong added that another reason was the high cost of living in Phuket. Drivers cannot support themselves on the old rates, he said.
The PLTO’s proposal would keep the rate at 50 baht for each of the first two kilometers. The rate on each of the next 20 kilometers would rise from seven to 11 baht, and the rate on each kilometer after that would go from six baht to nine baht, Mr Jaturong said.
The Phuket Land Transportation Office will soon send its taxi rate proposal to V/Gov Chamroen to approve, Mr Jaturong said yesterday.
“Once the vice governor approves, we will propose it to the Ministry of Transport,” he said.