Transport Ministry eyes legalising ride-hailing services
published : 19 Jun 2019 at 17:33
writer: Thodsapol Hongtong
The Department of Land Transport (DLT) is looking at legalising Grab ride-hailing services involving private cars and motorcycles.
The move came after Anutin Charnvirakul, leader of the Bhumajaithai Party, which has joined the coalition government, said he was keen to pursue the party’s policy of legalising GrabCar and GrabBike.
Mr Anutin said an amendment to a ministerial regulation would be needed. Saksayam Chidchob, secretary-general of the party, is tipped to become the transport minister. The department is an agency uder the Transport Ministry.
DLT deputy director-general Kamol Buranapong said his agency is preparing to take on the task. “Right now, the DLT is in the process of preparing its legal team,” said Mr Kamol. “We have studied it to some extent.”
He said it would not be enough to amend the ministerial regulation to legalise the ride-sharing services as the Land Transport Act would also need changing. It is unclear how long the process would take, he said.
The DLT may need to study ride-hailing services provided in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia and how they are organised through mobile applications.
The DLT will also have to consider whether those who provide ride-hailing services also need public driving licences and how far the agency can regulate them, Mr Kamol said.
Responding to complaints over the DLT-run “Taxi OK” mobile application, which many said cannot be used to call taxis in reality, Mr Kamol said his agency would improve the system.