Motorcycle taxi drivers in the “sharing economy” will be able to more easily obtain proper licences to provide public transport services during a special application period July 1-August 31 offered by the Department of Land Transport (DLT).
Grab Bike and other drivers under smartphone apps, will be able to apply for the yellow licence plates on those dates, with approved licences issued by October 31 and vehicle registration for use in public transportation completed by February next year, said DLT director-general Sanit Phromwong at a press conference on Thursday.
Sanit shared the decisions of the four-party committee’s meeting about the third phase of re-regulating motorcycle taxi services.
Authorities had re-regulated 5,800 motorcycle taxi stands (the stands are locally called “wins”) covering 87,179 taxi riders in Bangkok City and another 2,688 stands covering 63,944 taxi riders in Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan as of the end of 2017, said another committee member, Maj-General Piyapong Klinpan, commander of the 11th Military Circle.
Representatives of the conventional motorcycle taxis, who joined the meeting and were at the press conference, insisted they had nothing against the app-based peers but that all drivers abide by the law. Only those with yellow licence plates could give passengers rides, they said.
Those representatives admitted that drivers of conventional taxis must adjust and improve their service to woo passengers.
“We are closer [via human interaction] to passengers than these apps,” they said.
Grab Bike representatives said they were willing to let motorcycle taxi riders join its app-based service. The company representatives also agreed that current Grab Bike drivers would require the yellow-licence plates to give passengers rides, while those with white licence plates would provide food and document delivery.
Those wishing to renew current licences or to apply for approval for a conventional motorcycle taxis could also apply at the DLT offices at the same time as those for app-based services.