Taxi-Uber clash rasies questions

Friday, Jun 30, 2017 09:00

Traditional cab firms complain that there is a a shortage of policies regulating ride hailing service firms. — Photo

The mounting clash between traditional taxi firms and ride-hailing platforms Uber and Grab has raised the question of how to ensure fair competition in the passenger transportation market.

At a Wednesday dialogue between the Ministry of Transport and transport firms, traditional taxies demanded to clarify Uber’s and Grab’s operations and management policies, adding that traditional cabs face unfair competition form ride hailing services companies. Meanwhile, car-hailing services firms said that their services are not incompliant with the established laws.

Ta Long Hy, chairman of HCM City Taxi Association, proposed that the Ministry of Transport clarify whether Uber and Grab are technology platforms or transportation companies in order to implement appropriate management policies.

Hy said that Uber and Grab are doing things outside the functions of technology platforms.

The booming growth enjoyed by Uber and Grab cars are creating pressure on traffic in major cities, traditional taxi associations said.

Do Quoc Binh, chairman of Ha Noi Taxi Association, estimated the total number of taxies, including traditional, Uber and Grab, at 30,000-35,000 at the moment in the capital city, far beyond the planning of 20,000 taxies by 2020.

Under the HCM City’s taxi planning, there should be 12,000 cars by 2020. But now, with Uber and Grab, the number of taxies even already doubles that figure.

Hy proposed the transport ministry halt the pilot project of applying science and technology in transportation and providing logos for contracted cars.

According to Deputy Director of Ha Noi Department of Transport Ha Huy Quang, there is now a shortage of management policies regulating ride hailing services firms like Uber and Grab. “This business model must be revised to raise appropriate management policies,” Quang said.

Representatives from Uber and Grab at the dialogue said that they are compliant with the established laws and have fully implemented tax obligations.

Nguyen Tuan Anh, CEO Grab Viet Nam, said the company’s discount programmes is all registered at municipal departments of industry and trade and transportation. In addition, low fares are based on the application of technology, which has helped improve efficiency.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said that the two-year pilot project of applying technology to support the management and to connect passenger transporation by contract cars will be finished at the end of this year. After that, the project will be evaluated to issue better management policies.

Truong said the transport ministry will work with the Ministry of Finance to have better taxation solutions and with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to ensure fair competition.

Truong urged traditional taxi firms to strive to improve services and lower fairs to compete. He also urged Uber and Grab strictly follow Vietnamese laws and regulations.

As of May, nine companies participated in the pilot project, namely Grab Car, V.Car, Thanh Cong Car, S. Car, Vic. Car, Home Car, Uber, Mai Linh Car and Lb. Car.

Recently, the ministry said that the initial application of technology in transportation has been highly appreciated by citizens. — VNS

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