Greenlight given for Robinhood and Grab to operate app-based taxi and bike taxi services

Thailand’s Land Transport Department (LTD) has given approval for app-based Robinhood and Grab to operate taxi and motorcycle taxi ride hailing services in the country.

The two operators are required to submit bank guarantee letters to the department within 30 days, ensure that they comply with the conditions set by the department and cover damage caused to their passengers and their bikers in the course of providing their services, said LTD Deputy Director-General Seksom Akraphand today (Thursday).

The two operators are also required to submit their ride-hailing operational plans to the department within 15 days, he said, adding that private cars used to provide the services will have to be re-registered as public transport vehicles and the drivers will have to apply for public transport driving licenses and have their criminal records checked by the police.

Drivers will have fixed parking locations and services will only be provided via the booking applications. The service rates must not exceed those set by the department, said Seksom.

The LTD had previously approved ride-hailing services provided by Hello Phuket Service, Bonku and Asia Cab only.

Conventional taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers in Thailand have strongly opposed such app-based services, claiming that they offer cheaper fares because they have fewer expenses, particularly by not having to change the status of their private vehicles into public transport.

Most passengers, however, appear more satisfied with the app-based ride-hailing services, because they are more reliable and their rates are fixed.


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