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Phuket's Uber Illegal, Taxi Officials Rule in Thailand

Phuket's Uber Illegal, Taxi Officials Rule in Thailand

Friday, November 28, 2014
PHUKET: Officials in Bangkok have declared the new-technology Uber taxi service illegal in Thailand and ruled that drivers are liable to arrest.

The Uber service recently expanded to Phuket and was in the process of recruiting drivers and attracting customers.

Today's announcement from the Land Transport Department confirms the decision from a meeting yesterday.

The department said that Uber drivers mostly were behind the wheels of personal cars not registered taxis, creating doubts about the safety of passengers and insurance liabilities in the event of a crash.

Arrested drivers would be fined 2000 baht for having the wrong kind of vehicle and 1000 baht for not having a taxi driver's licence.

The Land Transport Department added that the Uber service was also very expensive compared to traditional Bangkok taxis.

Uber's recent arrival on Phuket was accompanied by a splurge of free promotional publicity in the island media.

The main difference with Uber is that the brand claims to use an app to access the nearest driver for quick service. Payments are by credit card only.

Although the service is said to be doing well in the US, London taxi drivers have protested over Uber and similar services.

In Sydney, one hire car owner, disillusioned with Uber, has made eight citizen's arrests of Uber drivers operating illegally.

On Phuket the island's taxi and tuk-tuk services are so expensive and disorganised that Uber's arrival is hardly likely to bring any improvement in a hurry.

Sydney: Taxi and hire car drivers plot fight back against uberX
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/taxi-and-hire-car-drivers-plot-fight-back-against-uberx-20141123-11q9lr.html

New York: Under Pressure From Uber, Taxi Medallion Prices are Plummeting
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/28/upshot/under-pressure-from-uber-taxi-medallion-prices-are-plummeting.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

Comments

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Phuket = no chances to change

Posted by dave on November 28, 2014 21:11

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My understanding was that Uber in Thailand served by fully-licenced taxis which chosen to use for marketing and settlement purposes Uber..?

Posted by Sue on November 29, 2014 06:33

Editor Comment:

Uber needs to make that plain. The Thai authorities say it's not true. In other countries, that certainly hasn't always been the case.

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I contacted uber and spoke to the PR dept in Bangkok their statement in 2 parts is..

Here is information from Uber spokesperson;

In Phuket, Uber partners strictly with existing licensed chauffeur-driven, limousine/ transportation companies that are fully accredited by the government compliant with local laws.

As background - Uber is not a taxi company. Uber does not own, operate any vehicles or employ any drivers.

And here is Uber statement.

Uber's Response to Recent Announcement
by Land Transportation Department of Thailand

November 28, 2014
Uber is a technology company whose smartphone application connects riders
and drivers at the tap of a button, facilitating a great service
experience. In more than 250 cities around the world, Uber is bringing
safety, reliability and convenience to millions of riders, while creating
economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of driver-partners. We
respect and welcome the opportunity to engage with the relevant
authorities to help them better understand the value we bring to the
transportation ecosystem of Thailand.

Can anyone verify if the vehicles used by Uber are legal green plated commercial vehicles for passenger use ?? If so I am struggling to see what is illegal about this and contradicts the statement from the Land Transport Dept.

Posted by LivinLOS on November 29, 2014 14:47

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@livinlos i have used uber 12-15 times in Thailand, mostly in Bangkok but also Phuket. Green licence plates every time.

Posted by Hagar on November 29, 2014 16:58

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[quote]
If so I am struggling to see what is illegal about this
[/quote]

It is "illegal" because "someone" higher up no longer gets their cut of the taxi fare

Posted by Simon Luttrell on November 29, 2014 17:08


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