PHUKET: Ride-sharing app Bolt’s global website has confirmed that the app and its drivers are legally authorized to operate in Phuket, bringing the total number of “taxi apps” available to people on the island to seven.
The Phuket Information Center shared the news earlier today (May 29) via a notice posted on its official Facebook page.
The notice declared, “We are pleased to announce that we have been certified by the Ministry of Land Transport as an Electronic Service Provider on 12 May 2023.
“Also, without your support and understanding, we cannot grow so fast. Thank you for your trust in us.
“After listening to every suggestion you have shared with us through official channels. We have been working hard to increase your interests through our platform,” the announcement said.
A separate notice was posted by the Phuket Information Center with the official logo of the Ministry of Land Transport explaining “application for certification by the Ministry of Land Transport”.
According to the notice, apps approved by DLT to operate in Thailand include: Hello Phuket, Grab, Bolt, AirAsia Super App, bonku, CABB and Robinhood, with Bolt being the latest to join.
Additionally, inDriver and Maxim are still not authorized by DLT to operate in Thailand, according to the notice.
However, the authenticity of the initial notice posted was questionable as it pointed to an announcement on the Google Sites webpage (see announcement here).
Today, in an interview with Phuket News, a representative of the Bolt.eu website (Bolt’s global portal) confirmed: “We assure you that Bolt complies with all legal requirements to operate the app in Phuket and is in line with the local The authorities are cooperating fully.”
The news is a breakthrough for taxi app drivers using the Bolt app to serve passengers in Phuket after being locked down for months by the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), which has not been made public. Acknowledge the news.
The news also comes as Phuket Move Forward MP-elect Somchart Techathavorncharoen ramps up pressure to allow taxi app drivers to pick up passengers at the airport ‒ a move aimed at avoiding being forced to use selected taxis with already signed franchises. Taxi Airports of Thailand (AoT) offered by Taxi Co-op get the exclusive right to serve passengers at the airport at a preset price.
Mr Somchart noted that tourists arriving at Phuket airport prefer to lug their luggage through car parks – sometimes in heavy rain – to be picked up by taxi app drivers on the main road in front of the airport
In response, the branch of AoT that operates Phuket International Airport (AoT Phuket) issued a circular listing the “public transport” options available at the airport.
The list only includes the bus services from the airport, namely Airport Bus, Airport Bus Express and Phuket Smart Bus.