GrabBike motorcycle-taxi service halted

GrabBike motorcycle-taxi service halted

The Land Transport Department has ordered GrabBike to suspend services until it complies with rules. (Grab Thailand photo)
The Land Transport Department has ordered GrabBike to suspend services until it complies with rules. (Grab Thailand photo)

The Department of Land Transport has ordered GrabTaxi Holdings Pte to halt its GrabBike service in Thailand until it follows local rules.

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GrabBike motorcycle-taxi service halted

Over the past two years, Land transport authorities have introduced a long set of rules governing Bangkok's large army of motorcycle-taxi drivers. Drivers must be properly licensed, wear bright coloured vests, wear helmets and charge fees according to published rates.

Thus, it is not surprising that the authorities are not welcoming competitors entering the market. In fact, the newest service, GrabBike, run by the popular GrabTaxi company, has been ordered to suspend its service.

Like its parent, GrabTaxi, customers order their rides through smartphones. However, the Department of Land Transport says the GrabBike service does not comply with regulations covering other motorcycle taxi drivers.

DLT deputy director-general Nunthapong Cherdchoo says his department took particular issue with using private motorcycles to carry passengers, the payment method and fares charged which, he said, did not comply with published rates.

He warned that such services were jeopardising security, safety and local transport systems because they created unfair competition, their motorcycles were not covered with accident insurance for passengers and drivers' criminal records were not checked by the government.

The motorcycle taxi drivers you see on the streets must follow a long list of regulations. CHANAT KATANYU

He said the department is not against applying technology to public transit services, but they must comply with current laws. The DLT asked GrabTaxi to suspend its GrabBike service – launched in August in Bangkok – until changes were made to meet regulations.

He added that soldiers, police and Bangkok authorities would arrest violating drivers and fine them at the highest rates if caught.

Service providers would be fined 2,000 baht for using private motorcycles to carry passengers, 1,000 baht failing to wear taxi motorcyclists' vests and 1,000 baht for failing to present a public-transport driver's licence. Such motorcyclists would also have their driving licences suspended and possibly revoked, Mr Nunthapong said.

Now the question is what will authorities do about a second motorcycle-taxi service, UberMoto service, which was launched last month?

Adapted from a story by our online reporters.

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Vocabulary

  • authorities: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน
  • competitor: a person, team or company that is competing against others - ผู้แข่งขัน, คู่แข่ง
  • comply (verb): to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. or do what someone asks you to do - ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, ข้อตกลง etc.)
  • criminal: relating to illegal acts - เกี่ยวกับอาชญากรรม
  • current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
  • Department of Land Transport (noun): The department of the Transport Ministry responsible overseeing land transport in the country, setting regulations and issuing drivers licenses - กรมการขนส่งทางบก
  • deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
  • director-general: the head of a large organisation, especially a public organisation - อธิบดี
  • fare: the money that you pay for a journey - ค่าโดยสาร
  • fee: an amount of money that you pay to be allowed to do something - ค่าธรรมเนียม, ค่าตอบแทน, ค่าบริการ
  • fine: to be required to pay an amount of money because you have broken the law - ปรับเป็นเงิน
  • govern: to control the way that things happen - ควบคุม, บังคับ, ครอบงำ
  • helmet: a strong hard hat that covers and protects the head - หมวกกันน็อก
  • insurance: an arrangement in which you regularly pay an insurance company an amount of money so that they will give you money if something you own is damaged, lost, or stolen, or if you die or are ill or injured - การประกัน
  • jeopardise: to risk damaging or destroying something important - เป็นอันตรายต่อ,เป็นภัยต่อ,ทำร่าย,ทำอันตราย
  • land transport: the moving of people and things between places using trucks, buses and other vehicles over roads -
  • launch: to start a new public service - เริ่มโครงการ, เริ่มต้น
  • law (noun): the whole system of rules that everyone in a country or society must obey - กฎหมาย
  • licence: an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต
  • licensed: having an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - มีใบอนุญาต
  • method: a particular way of doing something - วิธีการ,วิธีดำเนินการ
  • order (verb): to use your position of authority to tell somebody to do something or say that something must happen - สั่ง
  • parent company (noun): a company that owns or controls another company - บริษัทแม่
  • passenger: someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
  • popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
  • private: owned by a particular person or group - ของเอกชน
  • properly: in a way that is correct and/or appropriate - อย่างเหมาะสม, อย่างถูกต้อง
  • publish: to make something available to the public through books, magazines, the Internet, etc. - เผยแพร่, จัดพิมพ์
  • rate: an amount of money that is paid or charged - ราคา, อัตรา
  • record: a written account of something that is kept so that it can be looked at and used in the future - บันทึก, รายงาน
  • regulations: official rules that control the way that things are done - ระเบียบปฏิบัติ
  • regulations: official rules that control the way things are done - ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ
  • revoke: to officially say that something is no longer legal - เพิกถอน
  • security: protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
  • suspend: to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว
  • system (noun): a particular way of doing something; an organised set of ideas or theories - ระบบ, หลักการ
  • take issue with (verb): to disagree or argue with somebody about something - ไม่เห็นด้วย, ขัดแย้ง
  • transit: the act of moving something from one place to another - การส่งผ่าน
  • vest: a sleeve-less covering for the top part of your body -
  • warn: to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน
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