Cabbies told not to bully Uber

Cabbies told not to bully Uber

Taxi drivers hold a brief rally outside Parliament on Friday against ride-sharing service providers Uber and Grab. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
Taxi drivers hold a brief rally outside Parliament on Friday against ride-sharing service providers Uber and Grab. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has called on taxi drivers not to take action against drivers of the ride-sharing services by themselves, but to contact authorities to deal with the matter.

The move followed a series of the incidents where taxi drivers encircled cars and bullied drivers they believed provided ride-sharing services.

A case was reported at Chiang Mai airport on Tuesday, when a group of taxi drivers surrounded a car driven by woman they believed was the driver of either an Uber or Grab Car. The cabbies also asked officers to question the woman, who was later found to have gone there only to pick up her foreign work colleague.

DLT chief Sanit Phromwong said Saturday officers found that the woman had nothing to do with Uber or Grab and they had apologised to her.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office, Chiang Mai airport, police, the military as well as cabbies and passenger van drivers held a meeting and the drivers of public vehicles were asked not to intimidate suspected drivers of ride-sharing services, Mr Sanit said.

Officers should be informed of such situations, then question the suspects and take legal action against those providing ride-sharing services, he said.

He added cabbies who are found to surround the cars of others in the future -- and the organisations they work for -- could face stringent punishment.

Mr Sanit said mobile-phone ride-sharing applications can be used only for legally registered taxis. The Transport Ministry is in the process of setting up a panel to lay out guidelines on how applications can be used in public transport, he said.

Mr Sanit said the DLT is working on improving the quality of taxi services in Bangkok and provinces. It has come up with Taxi OK and Taxi VIP projects in which taxis will be equipped with GPS devices and other equipment to boost public confidence on their safety.

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