Transport ministry to halt carpooling services hinh anh 1The transport ministry asks carpooling service to stop as it might cause inconveniences to passengers. (Photo:
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Transport has asked ride hailing platforms Uber and Grab to stop providing carpooling services.

The request also applies for all taxi companies participating in the pilot project of applying science and technology to support management and connect passenger services of contracted cars.

A representative from the Ministry of Transport said that carpooling services might cause inconveniences to passengers, adding that for each car route, passengers book a whole car, not only some seat.

The ministry said that the request was raised to ensure the rights of passengers and prevent any problems that might arise when using carpooling services.

The ministry cited Circular 63/2014/TT-BGTVT, which claims that transport service providers can only sign one contract with one passenger for one route.

Violations would be fined from 4 million VND (175 USD) to 6 million VND.

Grab started providing carpooling service GrabShare in HCM City in May and in Hanoi earlier this month, which enabled two passengers’ bookings to be completed in a single trip. Grab said that this solution provided passengers with cheaper fares while helping drivers earn more and alleviating congestion in major cities. Uber also planned to provide UberPOOL in the country, a service that the HCM City Transport Department said is similar to GrabShare.

According to Le Tung, a passenger, using carpooling services helps reduce the number of cars on road, a solution to reduce the traffic congestion. Both passengers and drivers can reap benefits. "If a passenger feels that carpooling services are inconvenient, they have the right not to choose it," he said.

A representative from Grab Vietnam was quoted by Vneconomy online newspaper as saying that GrabShare was a new feature of GrabCar and within the scope of the company’s e-hailing pilot project.

“We are working closely with the Ministry of Transport to complete operation regulations for contracted cars in line with the established laws,” said Nguyen Thu An, communication director of Grab Vietnam.

“The development of technology is quickly changing the transportation industry, and it sometimes causes confusions in applying regulations,” she said. An said she believed that any features that bring benefits to citizens, companies and the society at large would receive support from the Government.

Grab and Uber’s operation in Vietnam has faced objections from traditional taxi firms who complained of unfair competition.-VNA