Tue, Dec 30, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Uber asks users to show support

FACEBOOK OFFENSIVE:More than 200 people left messages supporting Uber on Facebook after its call, as authorities continue to crack down on the service

Staff writer, with CNA

As mobile app-based transport network Uber faces legal hurdles in the nation and the government calls on the public to report similar services, the US-based company has asked patrons to show support by posting on Facebook.

“If you support Uber’s operation in Taiwan and share our belief in taking advantage of an economic transport option, please leave a message to keep Uber in Taiwan,” the company wrote on its Facebook page.

More than 200 people had left supportive messages within three hours of Uber’s request.

To underscore its commitment to continuing operations in Taiwan, the company also posted a link to an article on its blog called “Keep Taipei Moving,” which says that Taipei needs ridesharing and should “embrace its reputation as a city that encourages innovation.”

Launched in 2010, the Uber app for iOS and Android takes ride requests from users and pairs them with drivers so that a taxi does not have to be hailed.

However, the service has run into numerous problems in the nation.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has said its operations are illegal because Uber is registered locally as an information service, not a transportation business.

It has asked the public to report any violations by Uber and called for people to avoid unlicensed taxi services.

It said that Uber has recruited drivers without commercial driver’s licenses — which are required for taxi drivers under Taiwanese law.

The Directorate-General of Highways has fined Uber numerous times, saying that it was “seriously damaging the existing market order.”

The highway office has threatened to increase its crackdown on illegal taxi operations by the company through measures such as confiscating vehicle license plates.

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