Sun, Dec 01, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Uber to follow regulations

Staff writer, with CNA

Ride-hailing service Uber on Friday said it would expand cooperation with taxi fleets, vehicle rental companies and transportation authorities to change its operating model and avoid running afoul of the “Uber Clause,” which is to be implemented from today.

The US-based company promised in a statement that it would keep all the popular Uber App features and functions while expanding cooperation with diversified taxi fleets and vehicle rental operators.

It would also work with the government by applying Uber technology in various transportation services, including yellow cabs, rental vehicles and designated driver services, Uber said.

Over the past few years, local taxi drivers have protested drivers using the ride-hailing app who are not licensed taxi drivers.

As a result, Uber began collaborating with vehicle rental operators, but that failed to solve the issue.

Eventually, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications decided to amend the law to ban Uber from offering taxi services through business partnerships with vehicle rental firms.

Article 103-1 of the Transportation Management Regulations (汽車運輸業管理規則), dubbed the “Uber Clause,” was put into action on June 6, with a grace period for Uber drivers to acquire the required business and professional driving license to continue operating under the government’s multipurpose taxi program.

The deadline for the grace period, originally set for Oct. 6, was postponed to today.

Those who contravene the rule face a fine of up to NT$90,000.

Despite opposing the new regulation, Uber has pledged to adopt a new operating model by working with the taxi industry and serving as a technology platform under the multipurpose taxi program, which allows app-based metering, upfront pricing and flexible vehicle appearances.

There were about 12,000 Uber drivers in Taiwan before the clause went into effect, according to data from the Uber drivers’ self-help association.

While about 1,000 drivers were unwilling to work under the taxi program, 7,000 to 8,000 drivers have obtained the required taxi service permits.

However, 4,000 to 5,000 of them have not yet received their taxi license plate due to slow processing at motor vehicle offices, and are unable to offer their services yet, Uber said.

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