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Transport Ministry preps ride-sharing bill

Transport Ministry preps ride-sharing bill

BANGKOK: The Transport Ministry is preparing a draft law to enable private car drivers to serve passengers through ride-sharing apps, despite fierce protest from conventional taxis.

Thursday 26 September 2019, 09:53AM


Taxi drivers rally at the Department of Land Transport in June to call on the government to clamp down on illegal ride-sharing services. Photo: Patipat Janthong / Bangkok Post

Taxi drivers rally at the Department of Land Transport in June to call on the government to clamp down on illegal ride-sharing services. Photo: Patipat Janthong / Bangkok Post

A panel assigned to study ride-sharing has agreed to legalise the service and will ask Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob for approval to start drafting a new ministerial law, panel chairman and Transport Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary Chirute Visalachitra said on Wednesday (Sept 25).

The bill, together with eligibility criteria for drivers and cars, should be finalised within 30 days. Under the law, private car owners will be able to apply as “taxi drivers” with the Land Transport Department. After passing background checks, they will be able to operate via a smartphone application only.

The priority in ride-sharing legalisation is that “we must assure safety for passengers”, Mr Chirute said, adding that a facial recognition system will be used to verify drivers' identities during the service. Passengers will also be informed of fare rates and car types via the app in advance.

In moves to prevent possible conflict, the department will set rules to prevent ride-sharing drivers from “snatching passengers” from conventional taxis parked at certain areas, Mr Chirute added.

“We expect to enforce [the law] in March next year,” Mr Chirute said.

UWC Thailand

Pressure to legalise ride-sharing – a campaign promise made by the Bhumjaithai Party – is spurred by complaints that conventional taxis regularly refuse passengers.

However, taxi drivers, led by the Association of Public Taxi Motorists, oppose the plan. Last week they rallied at the Transport Ministry to demand B8.5 billion in compensation if legalisation goes ahead.

 

Read original story here.

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Kurt | 26 September 2019 - 12:07:03

Idea for Government Campaign, for lesser cars on  BKK roads: Car sharing. You share car with nearby neighbour who works nearby your working place. 1 week in his car, next week in your car. With 3 or 4 even better and cheaper. And much lesser cars on the road. Good for city air quality too. It works in other countries.

Kurt | 26 September 2019 - 11:59:05

If thai taxi drivers function like S'pore taxi drivers they have not to be afraid to loose customers. A good product sells it selves. On Phuket is only one taxi stand, at airport. Perhaps some BKK taxis can move to Phuket, open taxi stands all over the island, and also stop for customers along the roads.Ever tried to flag down a taxi in Chalong for Phuket town Immigration? There are none.

 

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