Thailand suspends Uber and Grab motorbike service

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Grabtaxi-BangkokThe Thai government ordered a suspension of the recently launched app-powered motorbike services by Uber and Grab because they “caused conflict” with those registered to provide taxi services and “broke local rules,” said Nunthapong Cherdchoo, a senior official at the Thai transport ministry.

Authorities arrested 66 drivers working for both companies. Offenders face fines of up to 4,000 baht ($112) and could have their licenses revoked.

There are more than 186,000 motorcycles registered to provide taxi services in Thailand, almost half in the capital Bangkok, according to government data. It is unclear how long the ban will be enforced, and both companies said they are seeking a solution.

GrabBike said it was working with the government to resolve the issue, while UberMoto said it would temporarily suspend services.

“GrabBike offers a service that reduces traffic in Bangkok, one of the world’s most congested cities,” Singapore-headquartered Grab said in a statement, adding that “staff are well-trained and insured.”

Uber’s Asia-Pacific spokeswoman Amy Kunrojpanya said that “we will temporarily suspend UberMoto services. We are doing it because we respect Thai laws. We see the need to cooperate with related agencies and have the intention to operate under the existing law.”

Motorbike app services are also popular in major Asian cities with heavily gridlocked traffic, such as Jakarta and Manila. However, the services are facing stiff opposition from established transport services. Earlier this year, taxi drivers in Jakarta brought parts of the capital to a standstill, with some protestors turning violent.

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The Thai government ordered a suspension of the recently launched app-powered motorbike services by Uber and Grab because they "caused conflict" with those registered to provide taxi services and "broke local rules," said Nunthapong Cherdchoo, a senior official at the Thai transport ministry. Authorities arrested 66 drivers working for both companies. Offenders face fines of up to 4,000 baht ($112) and could have their licenses revoked. There are more than 186,000 motorcycles registered to provide taxi services in Thailand, almost half in the capital Bangkok, according to government data. It is unclear how long the ban will be enforced, and...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Grabtaxi-BangkokThe Thai government ordered a suspension of the recently launched app-powered motorbike services by Uber and Grab because they “caused conflict” with those registered to provide taxi services and “broke local rules,” said Nunthapong Cherdchoo, a senior official at the Thai transport ministry.

Authorities arrested 66 drivers working for both companies. Offenders face fines of up to 4,000 baht ($112) and could have their licenses revoked.

There are more than 186,000 motorcycles registered to provide taxi services in Thailand, almost half in the capital Bangkok, according to government data. It is unclear how long the ban will be enforced, and both companies said they are seeking a solution.

GrabBike said it was working with the government to resolve the issue, while UberMoto said it would temporarily suspend services.

“GrabBike offers a service that reduces traffic in Bangkok, one of the world’s most congested cities,” Singapore-headquartered Grab said in a statement, adding that “staff are well-trained and insured.”

Uber’s Asia-Pacific spokeswoman Amy Kunrojpanya said that “we will temporarily suspend UberMoto services. We are doing it because we respect Thai laws. We see the need to cooperate with related agencies and have the intention to operate under the existing law.”

Motorbike app services are also popular in major Asian cities with heavily gridlocked traffic, such as Jakarta and Manila. However, the services are facing stiff opposition from established transport services. Earlier this year, taxi drivers in Jakarta brought parts of the capital to a standstill, with some protestors turning violent.

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