Thailand Set to Legalize, Regulate Ride-share Services in 2020

Thailand’s government is set to legalize ride-share services by March of next year, according to the transport ministry.

Transport ministry officials said regulatory guidelines for ride-hailing apps are drafted and ready to be implemented.

Before the change, ride-sharing drivers operated in a legal gray territory and were often subjected to fines from police.

The new changes will force drivers for Grab, Go-Jek, and other popular ride-hailing services to have a valid driver’s license, a registered vehicle, and a working GPS system.

Ride-share companies will be required to verify driver identities and operate a 24-hour hotline where user can launch complaints.

Legalizing ride-sharing apps in Thailand is not only meant to bring the services under regulatory oversight, but is also meant to cool the animosity taxi drivers hold against drivers for ride-hailing companies.

In the last couple of years, numerous high-profile clashes have occurred between taxi drivers and their modern counterparts who they see are stealing their customer base.

Ride-booking apps have surged in popularity in Thailand as they are seen by most as cheaper and more convenient options than traditional car and motorcycle taxis.

Bhumjaithai party officials, the same party heavily pushing legalizing marijuana in Thailand, were chosen to head the transport ministry.

Bhumjaithai made legalizing ride-sharing apps one of the main pillars of their campaign.

Read the full story here.

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