Grab bikers demand postponement of deadline for their regulation
Bikers on the app-based GrabBike motorcycle service rallied in front of the Ministry of Transport in Bangkok this afternoon (Thursday), to protest against the Land Transport Department’s order to cease providing their services by July 15th unless they comply with the department’s regulations, including the change of their license plates from white, for private transport, to yellow for public transport.
The department also seeks to limit the GrabBike service by prohibiting the bikers from crossing from one district into another with their passengers and ensuring that their service charges are the same as the ordinary taxi bikers, found on almost every street corner in Bangkok.
The group submitted a petition, addressed to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, asking him to postpone the July 15th deadline until the Land Transport Department has come up with new measures or a new law to recognise app-based motorcycle taxi services.
The bikers rejected the department’s requirement that they change to public transport licence plates, claiming that applying for a public transport driver’s license should suffice.
They also oppose the regulation that they operate intra-district, not inter-district with passengers.
Land Transport Department Deputy Director-General Seksom Akraphand, however, insisted that they want to regulate app-based bike services in accordance with public transport law.
He explained that the department does not have any vested interest in its attempts to regulate their services.
Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform, Grab, officially launched its GrabBike service in Bangkok in May 2017, after a successful trial.
Its service has been welcomed by many of Bangkok’s commuters as another option, instead of public buses and the metro, and even regular motorcycle taxis. The service is, however, opposed by the motorcycle taxi, who view the GrabBike service as a direct threat to their operations.