New regulations to require that Uber charges by the hour

RIDE-HAILING APPS::The Taipei Professional Drivers’ Union said that it would suspend a Wednesday protest until the new rules’ implications become clear

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Feb 23, 2019 - Page 2

Ride-hailing applications such as Uber are to be required to adopt hourly or daily rates to prevent them from eroding the market for metered taxi drivers, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said on Thursday.

Although ride-hailing platforms apply a rate based on distance and minutes traveled, just like taxis, regulations would be amended over the next two months to create a fairer competitive environment, the ministry said.

For those charging an hourly rate, journeys under an hour should be counted as one hour, the ministry said, adding that operators could decide how much to charge per hour.

The mechanism would work the same for adopters of daily rates.

However, there would also be flexibility for different municipalities to regulate ride-hailing based on their respective needs, it said.

The regulations would make it clear that operators like Uber cannot pick up passengers on the street and that different drivers cannot take shifts under one account, the ministry said, adding that the platforms would be required to provide all information about their vehicles and drivers to the authorities.

Meanwhile, ride-hailing apps should also disclose information about cars, drivers and rates to users, the ministry said.

Taxi unions welcomed the changes, saying that they would better protect their rights.

Taipei Professional Drivers’ Union president Cheng Li-chia (鄭力嘉) said that the group would suspend a protest planned for Wednesday.

Taxi drivers would continue to closely follow progress on the amendments over the next two months before deciding whether to take further action, Cheng said.