The Royal Gazette published regulations earlier this week essentially making ride-sharing services, like Grab or Bolt, legal in Thailand and allowing people to use their personal vehicles to work for such services.
These new rules and regulations, which are still subject to a thirty-day period in which the Department of Land Transportation, or DLT, will work out specific rules and guidelines for all parties involved, took effect despite fierce opposition from organized taxi companies and drivers, especially in Bangkok.
According to those opposed to the new rules, this would hurt their livelihoods and, in their opinion, the overall “customer experience” and “safety standards” in place for taxi services and their patrons.
However, those in favor of the new regulations, including the DLT, have stated this allows more people to earn a living during a difficult time for the economy due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and lack of tourists.
It is also noted by TPN media that in practice these ride-sharing applications have been around for many years now and have picked up in popularity with a significant number of the local population.
The DLT stated that each person can only register one vehicle and they will be subject to rules and regulations from not just ride-sharing companies but also the DLT in order to provide their services. This included the installation of an electronic communications system endorsed by the DLT.
There are also specific fare and price requirements for ride-sharing operators:
For small and medium-sized cars, the starting fare will be no more than 50 baht for the first two kilometers, and no more than 12 baht for each subsequent kilometer traveled.
For larger vehicles, the starting fare will be no more than 200 baht for the first two kilometers and no more 30 baht for each subsequent kilometer traveled.