illustrative image (Source: Bloomberg)

 

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Transport has chosen to manage ride-hailing services in the same way as traditional taxis, saying that a pilot run shows that the mode of operation of tech-based car transport service is quite similar to that of taxis.

The Ministry of Transport further proposed the management of ride-hailing services such as Grab, FastGo or Vato in the same way as traditional taxis. Additionally, the ministry will facilitate the operation of taxi service providers.

Grab, FastGo are taxis

 Under a draft decree regulating the business and conditions for automobile transport business (replacing Decree 86/2014) submitted by the Ministry of Transport to the Government, the agency proposed to manage the ride- hailing services like Grab, Fast Go, Be ... in the same way as traditional taxis.

According to its report to the Government, the Ministry of Transport said, there are still questions of how such traditional taxis or new services can be managed.

The Ministry of Transport still chooses to manage the convenient services like Grab, FastGo.. in the same way as traditional taxis because a trial run shows that the mode of operation of car-hailing service is relatively similar to a taxi (in terms of scope of operation in urban areas, customers, vehicle hailing methods ...).

The ministry admitted that there are limitations while recognizing the flexible new services as taxis. However, the Ministry of Transport added the recognition will not limit the application of science and technology in transport activities according to the Government's guidelines, helping facilitate management and people’s travel need.

With these advantages and disadvantages, the Ministry of Transport said, the above mentioned management way aims to ensure equality in terms of transport business and solve the complaints filed by the Taxi Association over the recent time.

In addition, under this draft, the Ministry of Transport also "eases” procedures for taxi businesses to facilitate their operation.

Accordingly, taxi businesses are not required to register colors for their vehicles and driver uniforms. There is no regulation on the scale of transport business units (minimum of 50 vehicles). There is an increase in under-9-seat car expiration dates from 8 years to 12 years.

Under this draft, according to Grab representatives, the State management agency may apply appropriate and specific rules to car-hailing service providers, in addition to current e-commerce regulations.

Within the framework of the pilot e-contract project of the Ministry of Transport, Grab said that the vehicles connected via GrabCar service are under 9-seat contract vehicles. Accordingly, both vehicles and drivers must comply with all laws and regulations for means of transport and drivers.

During the pilot process, the operation of tech-based services is similar to traditional taxis as both of them provide the same on-demand transport service, use cars of less than 9 seats and impose charges on travel distance and waiting time. So, Grab said, GrabCar vehicles can be considered a type of taxi service.

Specifying mode of operation

However, Grab representative expressed that these two types have some important differences in operating methods, charging and identification tools.

For example, taxis can pick up passengers on the road, so there should be recognizable features such as light boxes and distinctive logos. Meanwhile, GrabCar is a service that a customer can book prior to getting in the car, and is informed via the application of information about cars, drivers and fares and therefore, it is not necessary to have a light box and distinctive logo.

For GrabCar service, according to Grab, the requirement for taxi meters and fare tables are not necessary as the price information is fully displayed on the app and the total fare has been agreed by both parties before the trip.

Therefore, Grab said it is necessary to distinguish tech-based and traditional taxi services.

"Tech-based cabs do not need a meter (taxi meter) and fare table, logo and light boxes. Instead, it may be necessary to install a vehicle-mounted LED panel, just behind the windshield. These LED panels must be turned on when the vehicle is operational and can be turned off when the vehicle is not in service. Tech-based taxis are not allowed to pick up visitors on the road without using an app,” said Grab representative./.