Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018
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ECONOMY

No light-box sign needed for Grabcar: transport ministry

Updated at Sunday, 05 Aug 2018, 16:03
The Hanoitimes - The application of technology to the management and connection of electronic contract-based passenger transportation has created more options for passengers, providing information on drivers, fares, among others, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport.
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) considers Grabcar as a type of electronic contract-based vehicle, which does not require a light-box sign as stated in previous proposals. 
 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
Nevertheless, there must be a clear sign indicating cars in subject as electronic contract-based vehicle, stated the MoT in its latest draft decree in replacement of Decree No.86 setting out conditions for transportation business. 

According to the MoT, the application of technology to the management and connection of electronic contract-based passenger transportation has created more options for passengers, providing information on drivers, fares, thus increasing the chance to recover lost luggage. 

In addition to traditional taxi, the draft decree includes Electronic taxi, which will have a lightbox with the words "Electronic Taxi" on their cars and receive payments via electronic channels. 

Electronic taxis will have software connecting drivers and passengers, providing them with information on the company, driver, car, general fares and fares for specific routes, among others. 

Passengers can book electronic taxi through a call center or on the way. 

According to the MoT, these requirements will create favorable conditions to develop the model of passenger transport cooperation between ride-hailing apps and taxi firms, encouraging the application of technology in the transport sector, while simultaneously creating a more transparent and fair playground for the two sides.

As taxi associations have recommended to categorize all less-than-nine-seats vehicle for transport business as taxi, the MoT raised concern that it would cause inconvenience for passengers, as leasing a car under nine seats is not necessarily a taxi. 

According to the Hanoi Taxi Association, Grab should be considered a taxi firm, proposing to change the color of license plate of all such cars to yellow, making it more convenient for transportation management and operation.

The Taxi Associations in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang in July voiced their opinions against the extension of a ministry decision which pilots program on ride-hailing applications.

According to the taxi associations, Grab arrived in Vietnam in 2014 with charter capital of VND20 billion (US$867,110), however, the ride-hailing firm posted losses of VND938 billion (US$40.66 million) after two years implementing the pilot program. 

As of 2017, Grab's losses increased by VND788 billion (US$34.17 million), while nearly 50,000 drivers purchased or rented cars to become Grab's partners. 

Grab on March 26 confirmed its acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia operations for an undisclosed sum, raising concern over its alleged monopoly status in the region's ride-hailing market. 

In June, the MoT rejected Grab's proposal to expand its service network beyond the current five cities and provinces in the country. Before that, the ride-hailing firm had asked for permission to bring its service to a number of provinces and cities, including Ninh Thuan, Dong Thap and Gia Lai.
Nguyen Tung
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