New Phuket Airport buses hit the road

20 Jul 2013

Friday 19 July saw the first ever public bus run from Phuket Airport to the island’s west coast beach resorts. The maiden trip on the long-awaited service departed from the airport at 09:30.

Local reporters say there were more of their peers and officials on board than fare-paying passengers. Driver Rungphet Parmanee, 41, told reporters afterwards that the journey had gone ahead with no problems and that people seemed surprised to see a vehicle with the sign Airport Bus on it.

The bus service follows a route from the airport through Kathu to JJ Market in the resort town of Patong. The trip takes 90 minutes. The bus company operating the service says it has a fleet of eight vehicles to service the route.

A spokesperson for the company said that it planned to operate a timetable that will have 10 buses a day in each direction during the day. The spokesperson finished off by saying that if the service was well-used then the company would consider increasing frequencies.

One of the passengers on the inaugural journey said that when he and his partner emerged from the Baggage Reclaim area they were mobbed by taxi-drivers. He said that following the signs to the bus stop and then boarding the air-conditioned bus was cathartic when compared to the scrum created by the taxi-drivers.

Phuket’s taxi-drivers have long opposed airport bus services and hold a virtual monopoly on public transport into town. Taxi fares on average are 10 times higher than ones on the bus. The only advantage of taking a taxi from the airport is that it is quicker and takes passengers right to their hotels.

The 1Stop Phuket transport guide lists the different options for getting here and around. 

Tags: Phuket Airport buses

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