Motorcycle taxis protest against extension of GrabBike riders’ service
A group of motorcycle taxi drivers, known locally as “Win” riders, rallied in front of the Transport Ministry today (Friday) to protest against the Land Transport Department’s recent decision to allow app-based GrabBike riders to operate, without registration, for a further two months after the July 15th deadline.
The group submitted a protest letter, addressed to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, demanding that the Land Transport Department’s decision be rescinded.
Santi Patipanrat, a representative of the Motorcycle Taxi Association of Thailand, said that the extension of the operation period for GrabBike riders only benefits the service provider, GrabTaxi despite the fact that their service is technically illegal.
He said that the illegal service has been running for about eight years and the Transport Ministry has yet to do anything to end the service.
During the two-month reprieve for GrabBike riders, a result of recent protests by the app riders, the Land Transport Department will discuss, with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Metropolitan Police Bureau, ways to regulate the operation of GrabBike riders, on the basis that they must register and change their private vehicle license plates to those used for public transport.
GrabBike riders are required to register by July 26th if they want to continue with the app-based service.
Tensions have simmered for years between app-based riders and traditional motorcycle taxis operating in Greater Bangkok, with reports of the former being cornered and assaulted by some “Win” riders, who have to spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of baht for the iconic orange vest to operate in highly sought after locations.