Sun, Sep 08, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Ministry aims to aid taxi-like operators avoid breaching law

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is to develop measures to help people planning to operate non-traditional taxis to avoid breaking an amended law dubbed the “Uber clause.”

After a four-month grace period that is to end next month, those found to be operating a taxi-like business without authorization face fines of NT$9,000 to NT$90,000, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said on Friday.

The ministry is to extend the grace period for those unable to obtain permits in time under a multipurpose taxi service program that was initiated by the government primarily to encourage Uber and Uber-like services to adhere to the law, Lin said.

Many drivers have taken the multipurpose taxi driver exam, which began in June, to obtain a commercial driver’s license, Lin said, adding that within six months the number could be 10,000.

The ministry defines a multipurpose taxi as a service in which the driver is not legally required to use a yellow taxi. The fares are metered, but passengers interact with drivers primarily via an app.

An amendment to Article 103-1 of the Transportation Management Regulations (汽車運輸業管理規則), which took effect on June 6, bans taxi services offered through partnerships with vehicle rental agencies, as Uber has done.

Lin’s remarks came after dozens of affected drivers rallied in front of the ministry earlier the day, demanding that the government postpone the implementation of the amendments.

The Uber clause should be suspended until issues such as acquiring permits, financial assistance and insurance registration are resolved, said Lee Wei-er (李威爾), a spokesperson for a self-help association of drivers.

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