The controversial Uber taxi app has been declared illegal in Thailand and its drivers face arrest and heavy fines, according to an announcement by the Department of Land Transport.
The DLT claims that Uber drivers are using vehicles which are not properly registered for commercial use and that they charge fares which are outside of the regulated rates.
The DLT also expressed concerns that Uber was using drivers who were not in possession of the appropriate licenses and that the service discriminates against people who do not own a credit card.
Any Uber drivers found to be operating in Thailand face arrest and fines of up to 3,000 Baht.
DLT chief, Teerapong Rodprasert, said people should not use Uber but use the regular taxis instead.
When the Uber taxi app was launched in Thailand earlier this it was followed by a widespread promotional campaign in Bangkok, with the company saying its app would go on to ‘will change the face of transportation in Phuket’.
However, despite operating in more than 100 cities around the world, Uber has come under increasing amounts of criticism and scrutiny, with some governments placing restrictions on Uber after being inundated with opposition from domestic taxi drivers.
Some cities, including Frankfurt in Germany have opted for an outright ban of the Uber taxi app, whereas the company has been forced to suspend its operations in the U.S state of Nevada following widespread opposition from local taxi drivers, insurance companies and state officials.
In Bangkok, Uber recently launched its Uber X service, which offered its customers lower rates compared to those of the public taxis.
Unsurprisingly, Bangkok taxi drivers were less than impressed with what many saw as a very real and serious threat to their livelihoods.
However, there is one area from which Uber hasn’t come under fire and that is from its customers. Feedback from people who have used the service has generally speaking been quite positive.
Prominent Thailand blogger Richard Barrow has stated how he prefers using Uber, rather than Bangkok’s regular taxis.
Members of the Thaivisa forum have also commented about the good level of service, friendliness of its drivers and good standard of its vehicles – Uber uses new sedans and SUVs.
“I’ve used Uber on several occasions in Bangkok. It’s a bit more expensive compared to normal metered taxis, but service is great! It’s to be considered as a limo-service, and doubt they can make it illegal. Cars are new and clean. Drivers are quiet, polite and well dressed. No “I don’t go there”, or complaints about traffic. Highly recommended!” said member Motenaa.
Despite the Uber taxi app being declared illegal in Thailand on Friday 28th November, it seemed that on the following morning, the service was still very much in operation in Bangkok, as the images below shows.
Have you ever used the Uber taxi app in Thailand or anywhere else?
How did you find the service and do you think this is a good move on the part of the DLT?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.