Thu, Apr 13, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Government to determine legality of Uber’s service

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The government is to determine whether Uber has turned itself into a legal operator after reviewing the company’s plans, which Uber is to release today, the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) said on Tuesday.

The ride-sharing service suspended its operations in Taiwan in February after the company and its drivers accumulated hefty fines handed down by the DGH following a move by the Legislative Yuan to raise the maximum penalty for illegal taxi service operators stipulated in the Highway Act (公路法) to NT$25 million (US$818,170 at the current exchange rate).

The amendment took effect on Jan. 6.

DGH data showed that Uber received 35 citations from Jan. 6 to Friday last week, with accumulated fines topping NT$8.3 billion.

The company has not paid any of the fines.

The Administrative Enforcement Agency’s Taipei branch has been asked to help collect payments for 11 of the citations, as their due dates have passed, the DGH said.

Uber on Monday said that it is to resume operations today and would unveil its new business model.

The company said it would work with vehicle rental operators and guaranteed that it would be running a legal business.

The DGH confirmed that Uber has contacted it since last month to ask how it could operate legally.

However, the agency said that it could not tell whether what Uber is planning to do is legal, because it had not seen any details.

Uber can work with local rental car companies, but it must do everything legally, the DGH said.

As Uber is a registered information service provider, not a rental car operator, the company can only create a platform that rental car operators can use to deploy their services and must not dispatch rental cars itself, the agency said.

Rental car operators that Uber plans to work with must inform the public how they plan to charge users, the DGH said, adding that drivers must have valid licenses.

The rental companies must also ensure drivers have health and labor insurance, and they have to keep records of all the rental requests they receive, the DGH said.

Uber’s resumption of businesses and its unpaid fines would be treated as separate issues, the DGH said, adding that it would persist in its efforts to collect unpaid fines.

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