BANGKOK ( AP ) — An association of taxi drivers in Thailand on Wednesday urged the government to reconsider a draft rule that would allow the consumption of private cars for on-line ride-hailing services, saying it would create unfair rival and price taxi drivers their jobs. Thailand ’ south Cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft, which would permit personal vehicles with up to seven seats to operate using Uber-style acclaim apps. such services have been operating for several years without regulation, the prevailing one being GrabCar, part of Singapore-based Grab Holdings, which operates in Southeast Asia and Japan. Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has said the Land Transport Department will finalize plans to implement the regulation within a calendar month and hold a public hearing before it becomes law. Saksayam said the move will benefit the public because it will give people more choices.

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Reading: Thai taxi drivers protest draft law on Uber-type services

ad taxi drivers, however, believe it gives an unfair advantage to drivers using their private cars. Krengkrai Kaewket, president of the Federation of Thai Taxi Workers, said individual cars with engine sizes a small as 1200 two hundred will be allowed to offer the service, while cab drivers are required to use vehicles with engines at least 1600 two hundred. There are extra requirements for cab ampere well.

He said the federation earlier proposed to the ministry that it allow taxis with smaller engines, but it was refused for what was said to be reasons of passenger base hit. “ We have to spend more than 1 million baht ( $ 32,000 ) on purchasing vehicles to meet the regulations, while those who use small-engine cars pay half of what we pay, and now they are allowed to provide the lapp service. How can this be fair rival ? ” Krengkrai said. There presently are about 83,000 register taxis in Thailand, he said. In 2018, the Department of Land Transport launched a ride-hailing app called “ Taxi OK ” to be installed in register cab in an feat to digitize and enhance the efficiency of taxi services. Krengkrai said the app was a failure because taxi drivers have to pay an annual fee of 4,500 baht ( $ 144 ) and it generates very few customers.

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“ We are fine if the draft is fairly. They should regulate those ride-hailing overhaul apps the same as they regulate us, ” he said. taxi drivers plan to gather on June 2 at Parliament and at offices of the Land Transport Department to submit a letter of protest. Grab, founded in 2012, has become the largest ride-hailing service hustler in Southeast Asia. The company acquired U.S.-based Uber ’ s Southeast asian operations in 2018. Its Grabfood rescue service is another major part of its drive to became what it calls an “ Everyday Everything ” app .

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