Ride-hailing service Grab to be legalised in Thailand

PHOTO: Investvine

Grab Car and Grab Bike, the ride and taxi hailing apps, are likely to become legal in Thailand after the head of the Land Transport Department said public consultation was mostly positive. The DLT received around 1000 supportive comments and observations in a consultation, according to Thai news agency Sanook.

The department will submit its findings to the Transport Ministry and is preparing to make the necessary changes to accommodate Grab, subject to approval. The move has been on the books over the past six months.

Grab and other such services are technically still illegal in Thailand but have become popular anyway with customers voting with their phone apps and using the newer, more nimble and reliable, services. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing with traditional taxi services and ‘win’ motorcycle taxis fighting back, verbally and physically. There have been multiple brawls and disputes, some deadly.

The service has had other problems, as local drivers have gone on strike several times, demanding better wages and benefits with the global ride-hailing companies.

Several groups representing traditional motorbike taxi drivers and car taxis are protesting any change to the law, insisting that the service should remain illegal.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Jack Burton

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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