Great news for locals & tourists alike as the long-awaited Phuket 'Smart Bus' undertook it's first offical route this month. The services connects Phuket International Airport to the southern part of the island, namely Rawai Beach.
Named the 'blue' route, the takes in a total of 50 stops - covering a distance of 56 kilometres along the western beach road stopping throughout many popular areas including;
- Surin Beach
- Kamala Beach
- Patong Beach
- Karon Beach
- Kata Beach
- Rawai Beach
After passengers are boarded from Phuket International & Domestic Airport Terminals, it heads to Rawai along the west coast. Stops along the route include:
- Kata Night Plaza
- Karon Circle
- Jungceylon, Patong
- Surin Beach
- Bang Tao Mosque
- Boat Avenue, Cherngtalay
- Talang District Office
The service operates daily with the first bus departure occurring at 6:45am until the last bus at 7:15pm -with a total of 32 round trips made each day. The blue route is estimated to take between 2-3 hours depending on traffic. For many travellers, the service offers a great alternative to the options currently on offer. The project is a joint initiative of Phuket City Development together with Rabbit X Phuket Smartcard.
Fares start from 50 Baht up to a maximum of 170 Baht, the maximum fare taking passengers as far as Rawai. Tickets can be purchased using Rabbit x Phuket Smartcard which can be purchased from the driver, with a starting price of 300 Baht (100 Baht for the card fee and 200 Baht to pay for the bus fee). Any money left the card can also pay for other products or services with promotions or other special discounts at more than 60 stores around Phuket which accept the Rabbit Card as well as some in Bangkok.
The brand-new Mercedes buses feature CCTV, Wifi & a USB port fitted into each seat. There's GPS monitoring & a lift to accommodate disabled passengers & of course plenty of room to accommodate passenger luggage.
Depending upon the distance travelled, a ticket price varies from 50 Baht to 170 Baht. Ticket purchases can also be made using a Visa Card, who are an official partner of the project.