Bid to register motorcycle taxi drivers

Bid to register motorcycle taxi drivers

Drivers from the app-controlled Grab motorcycle-taxi service listen as officials from the army and Department of Land Transport outline new regulations. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Drivers from the app-controlled Grab motorcycle-taxi service listen as officials from the army and Department of Land Transport outline new regulations. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

People seeking to register as new motorcycle taxi drivers can submit applications to the Department of Land Transport (DLT) from next month under the latest drive to regulate motorcycle taxis and ensure safety and reasonable fares for commuters.

DLT director-general Sanith Phromwong said applications can be lodged at City Hall's district offices from July 1 until Aug 31.

Applicants must submit valid driving licences and documents showing proof of ownership of the vehicles, among other requirements.

Successful applicants will be announced by Oct 31, Mr Sanith said at a committee meeting which is looking at regulating motorcycle taxis.

The meeting was held at the 11th Infantry Circle in Bangkok's Dusit district, where the military discussed the matter with the DLT, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Traffic Police Division. Motorcycle taxi drivers and staff from the Grab ride-sharing application were also present.

After applicants obtain their certificates issued by the DLT, they are then required to register for yellow-plated driving licences for public service vehicles by February next year or else end up facing legal action, Mr Sanith said. Motorcycle taxi drivers are also urged to join ride-sharing app services which provide an alternative to commuters from this month.

Motorcycle taxi drivers said they do not oppose ride-sharing app service providers but they must abide by the law by using vehicles with yellow-plated public vehicle driving licences.

Grab's staff said that the company is ready to support efforts to address the problem with public motorcycle taxi drivers and is willing to welcome yellow-plated motorcycle taxi drivers to join its network, with incentives offered to them.

Without a public service licence, a motorcyclist can only deliver food and parcels, and is not allowed to transport passengers.

Maj Gen Piyaphong Klinphan, commander of the 11th Military Circle, said that a total of 87,179 motorcycle taxi drivers have been registered so far in Bangkok while 63,944 have been registered in Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan.

The emergence of ride-sharing apps has resulted in vehement opposition from public taxis, many of whom claim their livelihoods are being threatened by a business that is, as of now, operating illegally.


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