Pattaya will set fares for speedboats operating between Bali Hai Pier and Koh Larn following complaints from tourists about prices and service.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said at the June 29 Pattaya City Council meeting that a survey taken earlier this month found 43 operators own 106 speedboats at the South Pattaya jetty.
While all the speedboat operators have been spared paying pier-usage fees for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, that hasn’t stopped them from undercutting each other on fares.
That led to complaints about poor service and unsafe conditions, many posted to social media after Koh Larn reopened June 14.
A common tactic has been to sell round-trips voyages at cut-throat prices, but tourists reported that the drivers would leave them on the island, not returning to take them back to Pattaya.
Others reported that the speedboats were being unsafely overloaded and no one from the city or Marine Department was checking passenger loads.
Pattaya officials said June 15 that the city would start selling mooring licenses and regulate how many speedboats can serve Bali Hai. Applications had to be submitted by June 18 when the city began deciding who gets to operate at the pier.
Sonthaya didn’t indicate any decision was made or is still being contemplated. He simply said the city would set the standard price for speedboat services and ensure all boats and drivers are registered.