|A motorbike taxi driver who works for a company with metered motorbike taxis in Ha Noi. The new service that offers listed fare rates and uses taximeters and Global Positioning Systems have been operating in Ha Noi for several months. — VNA/VNS Photo Tung Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — People in Ha Noi are enjoying a new transport service - taxi motorbikes with meters, listed price rates and Global Positioning Systems.
Several taxi motorbike companies with dozens of drivers have come into operation during the past several months.
Customers will not be cheated and avoid getting many hassles with this service. However, this has yet to be officially acknowledged by authorities.
Nguyen Van Truong in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District said it used to cost him VND25,000 ($1.12) for a two-kilometre journey when randomly catching a taxi motorbike.
However, now, it only takes him VND12,000 ($0.57) without having to bargain thanks to this service, he said.
He also feels safer and more comfortable when he does not have to watch drivers to see whether they are taking him along the longest possible route to earn more money, he said.
Nguyen Thanh Hoai, a patient at Bach Mai Hospital who regularly uses this service, said motorbike taxi companies have their own hotlines, like normal taxi companies.
If any trouble occurs, customers can call the hotline and immediately get feed back, she said.
Pham Van Hiep, director of Than Thien Company with 30 taxi motorbikes, said the price of the company's service was just VND6,000 per km for the first kilometre and decreases to VND4,000 from the 13th km.
Customers would have to pay only two thirds of the cost in comparison with normal taxi motorbikes and a half in comparison with taxis, he said.
Hoang Khai Hung, deputy director of Nam Hai Company with 20 taxi motorbikes, said that when customers sit on the motorbikes, infared equipment will kick off the taxi meter. "It is completely correct."
He said GPS and e-management systems would help the company to keep an eye on the operation of their drivers.
Motorbike taxi drivers at these company are ensured an income.
Hiep said his drivers are mainly students who get support to cover petrol and food costs. Besides, their permanent salary is fixed between VND3-4 million ($142-190) plus bonuses that depend on the number of customers they serve.
If they can earn a total of VND6 million ($285.7) per month and work after 7pm, they will get a bonus of 40 per cent of their turnover, he said.
All drivers at taxi motorbike companies are equipped with uniforms with the company logo, staff identification cards and listed taxi prices.
Hung said his staff has been asked to obey traffic regulations. When they fail to do this, they will be fined.
However, as a new kind of taxi service, these motorbike taxi companies have yet to be put under official control of relevant authorities.
Nguyen Hong Dat from the Ha Noi Transport Department said the new service model for motorbike taxi companies has yet to be put under control by any official regulations.
If their taxi meter and listed price rates are officially managed, they will be visited for checks by transport inspectors, he said.
Hiep said the company has proposed authorities to officially acknowledge their operation model and work out legal regulations on their taxi meters or prices as is the case with taxi car companies.
This is the way to boost customers' trust in the service, he said.
Bui Van Quang, from the Tu Liem District Police Department, where some motorbike taxi companies are located, said this service model would contribute to minimising criminal cases in which customers were cheated, robbed or abused by motorbike taxi drivers.
More than 5,000 motorbike taxi drivers currently operating without any manangement are a factor that increases the risk of traffic chaos and criminal activities, he added. — VNS