Taxis operators asked to not use GrabTaxi app

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 18:50

Many taxi companies in Ha Noi ask drivers to remove GrabTaxi application on their mobile phones. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Many taxi operators in Ha Noi have asked their drivers not to use mobile taxi booking application GrabTaxi, Vietnamplus online newspaper reported.

Thanh Cong Taxi Company recently sent a notice to its drivers asking them to remove the app before August 15. Nguyen Anh Quan, chairman of the management board of Thanh Cong taxi company, said that recently many cabs without badges have used the app to carry passengers and that impacts on the reputation of taxi companies joining hands with GrabTaxi.

"Passengers connecting to taxi drivers by using the app will result in taxi companies gradually losing their brands. Passengers do not know which operators cabs belong to, but only think that they are GrabTaxi's cars. Meanwhile, taxis are assets and taxi drivers are employees of taxi companies," he said.

Thanh Cong taxi operators have cooperated with GrabTaxi to expand GrabTaxi in the past eight months and their number of passengers has increased by about 15 per cent.

On July 10, Sao Ha Noi Taxi Company sent a directive to drivers forbidding them from using taxi booking apps such as GrabTaxi, Uber and EasyTaxi. It said that the firm would terminate employment contracts with drivers and ask them to compensate the company with VND10 million (US$454).

"Taxi drivers must delete the app and remove GrabTaxi symbols from their cabs before July 25," the directive said.

The company said that this would ensure its brand development and the rights of drivers.

Taxi driver Nguyen Huy Thong of Ba Sao Taxi Company said that the firm asked drivers not to use the GrabTaxi app to connect passengers beginning July 24, and would impose the maximum fine for terminating labour contracts with violating drivers.

"We have to comply with the company's requirements. If we do not use GrabTaxi, the number of our passengers will decrease. However, that is better than we lose our jobs," he said.

Being asked about the matter, Nguyen Tuan Anh, general manager of GrabTaxi Vietnam, said that the firm has not received any official messages from taxi operators and only heard the news through taxi drivers.

"I think that there is a misunderstanding between taxi companies and GrabTaxi, though we have not found out the reasons. We are expected to meet with taxi companies this week to look for causes and solutions," he said.

Anh said that the number of passengers increased after taxi drivers use the app, and forbidding the usage of the app by companies will create a disadvantage for their drivers.

He noted that taxis that do not have taxi badges are not the same as those that operate without licences. They were, however, taxis providing services at very inexpensive prices set by GrabTaxi, and these cabs were not employed by taxi operators, Anh said.

Hanoi Transport Association chairman Bui Danh Lien said that the refusal by taxi companies to cooperate might be due to the rights of the two sides not matching.

"The development of GrabTaxi has caused a decline in the connection between central offices of taxi companies and passengers. This has an impact on the brands of traditional taxi firms," he said.

He added that it was not surprising that companies would stop using taxi booking apps. Yet in the future, if an app is launched with better and more convenient services, taxi companies would cooperate with it, he said. — VNS

The expansion of GrabTaxi

Malaysia-based taxi booking app GrabTaxi began being used in HCM City in February 2014 and in Ha Noi in May 2014.

The apps operating on iOS and Android smartphones allow users to book and track the nearest available taxi for any trip and interact directly with the drivers. The route is tracked by global positioning systems and fares are calculated and reported to passengers.

Last November, the company launched GrabBike – an app allowing users to call xe om (motorbike taxi) – in HCM City. Users of the app can see the motorbike taxis in their vicinity at that moment and receive information about the distance of their trip and fare.

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