Sunday, December 11 2016

VietNamNews

Uber, GrabTaxi roof signs?

Update: April, 09/2016 - 09:12
Cars offering taxi services on technology platforms like GrabTaxi and Uber must put signs reading “TAXI E” [E for "electronic"] on their roofs, the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam has proposed.— Photo chaytaxiuber.com

HÀ NỘI — Cars offering taxi services on technology platforms like GrabTaxi and Uber must put signs reading “TAXI E” [E for "electronic"] on their roofs, the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam has proposed.

This is part of a draft decree the Directorate is compiling to replace the 2014 Governmental Decree on the transportation business and business conditions.

Under the draft, taxis that accept cashless payments would have to give passengers e-invoices with information including name of operator, registered plate numbers, starting point, destination, time and fare.

The software programmes that these taxies use to connect and charge passengers must be registered to agency authorities,  so that agencies may oversee, inspect and detect violations.

Deputy head of the directorate Phan Thị Thu Hiền said that during the development of transport activities with new kinds of transportation, users’ rights would be placed centre stage, and people would have right to choose suitable services.

"The draft decree officially puts such unconventional taxies under authorised management for the first time, to create healthier competition among transport firms," she said.

Hiền said that there were inadequacies in the operation of Uber now. For example, the directorate failed to collect taxes from Uber or to verify its e-hail application.

A two-year pilot programme called "Application of information technology in supporting the management and connection of commercial passenger transportation by contract" (GrabCar) - launched by the Transport Ministry last year - was expected to provide lessons for an improved legal framework for unconventional taxis.

Phạm Duy Kính, representative from VIC Taxi, said that conventional taxis were subject to regulations, while Uber and GrabTaxi were not.

The taxis using e-hail applications were operating without roof signs, badges, blackboxes, metres, invoice printers, or listed fares, he said. And there was no quota designating the number of cars and owners who may offer GrabTaxi and Uber services.

Transportation experts have agreed that GrabTaxi and Uber have advantages in fares and convenience for passengers, particularly those with smartphones. However, legal frameworks are needed to oversee their operation in Việt Nam, to ensure fair competition and passengers’ rights and safety. — VNS

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