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VietNamNews

Transport minister urges regulations for taxi service

Update: December, 05/2014 - 09:08
Uber, an American taxi service, offers low-cost taxi rides in expensive cars through a downloadable phone application (app). Customers use the "app" to register the route they want to take, and the system connects them to available drivers. — Photo tinnong

HA NOI (VNS) — Transport agencies needed to research policies to legalise Uber, a new ride-sharing taxi service in Viet Nam, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said at a conference on Tuesday.

Current laws don't address Uber's specific business type, so agencies must create new regulations and guidelines, Thang said.

He added that Uber's fares were lower than other operators and the service was popular with foreign tourists, so Viet Nam should legalise it so it could be regulated and made safe.

Uber, an American taxi service, offers low-cost taxi rides in expensive cars through a downloadable phone application (app). Customers use the "app" to register the route they want to take, and the system connects them to available drivers.

The app tells customers how much the ride will cost, and gives them information about the car picking them up. It charges the customer's Visa or Mastercard for the service.

HCM City police launched a sudden crackdown on Uber drivers last week. It imposed fines on five people employed by the service. They were penalised for providing a transport service without a licence.

Uber was illegal and difficult to manage, transport officials told the press on Monday. The officials also raised doubts about its legitimacy because it operated without registering its business or paying insurance.

However, at an intverview with Vietnamplus on Wednesday, vice-chairman of the Viet Nam National Safety Traffic Committee, Khuat Viet Hung, said the app provided a good service to residents.

The Ministry of Transport would work with ministries and sectors to create a legal framework for Uber and similar ride-sharing services, he said. But the organisations and individials must register and conduct their business transparently.

Under current laws, Uber was not responsible for the safety of its passengers, Hung said. The transport service providers, or Uber drivers, were liable instead.

However, Karun Arya, the South Asia communications director for Uber, said all Uber partners had registered in the countries they operated in.

Uber has signed contracts with about 200 transport companies in HCM City, Arya said, but declined to name them. — VNS

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