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Thai taxi drivers protest against extended GrabBike deadline

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Thai taxi drivers protest against extended GrabBike deadline
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Bangkok motorcycle Taxi riders and Taxi drivers today burned their orange safety vests in protest of the Transport Ministry’s decision to extend the licence of GrabBike riders for 2 more months.

The company announced last week that every one of their Grab riders must register as a public transport operator and change their registration plates from white to yellow if they want to continue as a taxi rider.

Grab informed its partners that this change was made according to the latest order from the Department of Land Transport. A white registration plate is used on a personal car, and a private vehicle cannot be used to transport people for profit.

GrabBike riders affected by the changes have protested against the ruling even though they have an extra 2 months’ grace. They say the ruling has come too soon to comply with the new laws. Many riders added they will not have any income while processing their new license and are worried they might be kicked out of the transport service because of the limited amount of commercial or yellow plates.

A campaign to reclaim the old rules for GrabBike riders has been launched on the change.org website. The campaign said there was no justice for the riders.

The campaign host added that GrabBike generates additional income for people and offers safer and better transport services. Also, the platform is acceptable in other countries.

The Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchop, last Saturday said that the GrabBike deadline has been extended to September 13 for those who want to register for a yellow plate.

The extension has caused outrage among a group of motorcycle taxi riders and taxi drivers.

Motorcycle taxi riders, under the Motorcycle Taxi Association of Thailand, and some taxi drivers gathered in front of the Ministry of Transport and burned their orange safety vests and blue taxi driver shirts in protest against the deadline extension.

President of the association, Santi Patiparnrat, said the government extended the deadline to benefit the private sector, Grab, even if this business violates Thai laws.

“What the government did was to encourage motorcycles and drivers with white plates. The business has been operating for 8 years already. It’s time for the Transport Ministry to make things clear.”

The Permanent Secretary of the Transport Ministry, Sooksomruay Wanthaneekun, informed the media that the ministry acknowledged the issue and would find a solution that would benefit both parties.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Bangkokbiznews

 

Courtesy ofThaiger News

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