East Asia & Pacific » Thailand » Phuket

Phuket Metro-Urban coupling, and how to pay for the wedding.
  Pedro B. Ortiz Phuket Transport strategy Metropolitan urban Planning integration Braisnshop
  Phuket Island has a double structure. The metropolitan one runs along the north-south main axis of the island. The urban one runs east west linking both coast and crossing the low mountain ridge. Each conforms different functions and have to be integrated though addressed each on its own merits.

The future transport system of the island has to serve the two structures. The Metro one, and the Urban one. Each has different requirements for distance, time and capacity. Each requires a different mode. Integrated but distinct. In the lack of such territorial analysis and understanding there is a risk for producing an aggregative disjointed proposal that would serve neither of them correctly.

The metropolitan dimension requires an MRT mode able to provide for 45.000 daily airport passengers and the local demand of 500.000 inhabitants along the 40+ km. of metropolitan axis. The Urban dimension only requires a 15 km long system to blend with the urban scene and enhance de accessibility of the ‘King’ of the game: the historical core of Phuket, able to provide for a substantial upgrading improvement of the economic and touristic strategy of the island. An LRT would be the adequate solution.
Both complementary dimensions have to couple and wed…

As in most developing countries, financing is the problem. Not in Phuket. The transport system is to benefit the tourists and those belong mostly to an income group that can afford the cost of urban transport as part of the package of the international trip. We are in a wealthy consumer setting. They are the ones that, as beneficiaries, have to pay for it.
Phuket incomplete Truss
  Phuket Metro-Matrix urban metropolitan strategic Plan
  Phuket is not a metropolis. But some of its features might be adequate to apply partially a metropolitan approach.

Phuket is an island. Thus a finite territory with polycentricity that requires a comprehensive view. Tourist destination for Australians, South Africans and now Chinese. Without minimizing Californians and Europeans. Low tourist standards. Cheap tourism heritage that requires a policy revision. Stable population amounts to 500.000. Seasonal can reach another 500.000. We must provide for 1 million.

The need to vertebrate the elongated island with public transnport mode adequate to actual needs and capable to be upgraded for future ones. The main backbone mode has to be complemented with transversal ones to reach mainly the west tourist coast. Nodes have to be characterized and urban centralities developed accordingly with the role typology.

Much work still to be done. Up the the Local authorities to assume the challenge.