Just Hours after, we heard that Uber has suspended its services in Nevada following an injuction by a district judge, Uber has now reportedly been banned in Thailand. The word courted by Thailand’s Government is “illegal“.
Bangkok post reports, that the Director General of Government’s Land Transport Department, Teerapong Rodprasert announced on Friday that the ride-sharing service has been declared illegal and that the drivers associated, will be charged with heavy fines for using improper cars and fare structures.
As per Bangkok Post report,
The department claimed Uber vehicles are improperly registered, charge fares not in line with regulated rates, utilize drivers without the proper licenses and discriminate against customers without credit.
Detailing as to why the service has been termed illegal, the Director general said that the firm was improperly using cars with green-lettered license plates – similar to airport limousines – and personal vehicles with black-lettered plates.
He further clarified that the drivers were illegal under Thailand’s B.E.2522 Motor Vehicles Act as they were not charging approved rates. Drivers also do not posses public driving license, which is mandatory for such services to operate in Thailand. The department is also concerned with the safety in Uber cars, and the “hidden costs” which the service might charge, as these cars were not registered under the department database.
Uber has been facing extreme regulatory difficulties, ever since the service expanded its service area. It now operates in more than 100 cities, with the geographical expansion stretching from the U.S. in the West, to as far as India and Indonesia in Asia.
But is it really the regulatory issues causing all the headaches ? Though Uber may have violated laws, but such stringent actions by Governments over a cab service are more of a result of the pressure, put on by local cab associations. Many cities in Germany have outrightly banned Uber, while its services operate in Paris after defying a court order.
But is Uber really that illegal ? Doesn’t look like that to me. These bans and illegal statuses are definitely not just government’s sole viewepoint, these are rather initiated by local cab drivers and taxi operators, who anyways charge exorbitant prices from travellers.
Uber on the other hand, gives you prior and a “fixed“estimate of your ride, and does so in three different categories (two outside India). Uber’s ride are definitely, definitely safer as compared to local taxis and cabs (personal experience) and much more comfortable. So why all these bans ? Well, local taxi drivers not only get in the risk of loosing travellers, they also are unable to charge wishful prices from travellers as Uber’s prices are globally fixed (barring minor currency exchange edits).
We have contacted Uber for comments, and will update you as soon as we receive one.
We’ve received an official statement from Uber. Here’s what it says,
Uber is a technology company whose smartphone application connects riders and drivers at the tap of a button, facilitating a great service experience. In more than 250 cities around the world, Uber is bringing safety, reliability and convenience to millions of riders, while creating economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of driver-partners. We respect and welcome the opportunity to engage with the relevant authorities to help them better understand the value we bring to the transportation ecosystem of Thailand.