|Cars which provide passenger transportation services via ride-hailing platforms like Grab will have to have roof signs showing that they were “contract vehicles”. (Source: baogiaothong.vn)
This was a highlight in the latest version of the draft decree on automobile transportation businesses, replacing Decree 86/2014/NĐ-CP, which the Ministry of Transport recently submitted to the Government.
The ministry said that it wanted to create a level playing field for traditional taxi companies and contract vehicles like Grab in the context of rapid science and technology development which was changing the transportation landscape and causing difficulties in management.
The latest draft version, the eighth since 2016, included a new definition for automobile transportation businesses, which said that it was a service which included two major stages: vehicle operation and service fee fixing.
With this definition, any firms involved in vehicle operation and price fixing must be registered as transportation companies, meaning that Grab would be a transportation company and managed like taxi firms.
Under the draft, companies like Uber, Grab, Bee and Vato could be selected to operate as “electronic taxi” or “contract vehicle using electronic contract” and both must have signs on their roofs. The minimum size for the roof sign was 12 centimetres in width and 30 centimetres in length.
Grab said that it was not necessary to require its cars to have roof signs because these cars already had labels on the windscreen. Grab said that passengers could recognise their drivers via vehicle number plates or contact drivers via phones. “There is no need for roof signs,” Grab said.
Grab also said that the definition for automobile transportation business raised in the latest draft was unclear.
In response, a representative from the ministry’s Transportation Department said that the requirement for roof signs would make it easier to manage transportation business and for passengers to easily recognise their booked cars.
The department also said that if Grab said it was only a transportation software provider, it could not intervene in deciding the services fee and vehicle operation.
Nguyen Van Quyen, Chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, said that the definition of automobile transportation business must be made clear to make it easy for management and business operation.
Quyen said the association agreed with the ministry’s draft regulation that “contract vehicles” must have signs on their roofs.
The application of science and technology advancements in transportation services was an unavoidable trend but it promotes a healthy transportation market, Quyen said.