Banglamung officials have ruled that from now on, Bolt riders will no longer be able to pick up passengers within a 100-meter radius of a legal motorbike taxi riders’ stand. Furthermore, Bolt riders are now required to register their vehicles for a yellow public transportation plate as well as comply with other requirements within four months.
The decision to resolve the prolonged conflict between Bolt riders and orange-vested motorbike taxi riders was made after a formal meeting was held on July 12th at the Banglamung District Office.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Yodchai Phuengporn, an MP from the Move Forward Party, who is in charge of the Pattaya area, police officers from Pattaya Police Station, Banglamung Police Station, and Nongprue Police Station, Chonburi Provincial Transport officials, and representatives of motorbike taxi riders, and Bolt riders.
According to Mr. Narongsak Suksa-nguan, a representative from the Bolt party, all problems arose due to the fact that although the Bolt application has been duly registered with the transport authorities, some Bolt riders are still unable to obtain the required public transport driving licenses and yellow registration plates due to limitations in the registration process and the fact that there are over 2,000-3,000 Bolt riders. They also need public transport insurance and registration.
Moreover, there is a lack of awareness among some passengers regarding the guideline that Bolt riders should be called from a minimum distance of 100 meters away from the traditional motorbike taxi stands. This misunderstanding frequently results in confrontations between the two groups of riders. It’s important to note that this rule is only a mutual agreement between the parties involved and is not mandated by law, however.
Meanwhile, according to Mr. Santi Patipanrat, Chairman of the Association of Electric Vehicle Public Motorcycle Taxi Riders, the Bolt application has yet to make an announcement for its partners in Chonburi province to register their vehicles. Additionally, even the Grab application, which received certification from the Department of Transport nearly a year ago, only has six vehicles with yellow registration plates within the system, Mr. Santi stated.
As a solution, Mr. Sophak Kawaen, a representative from the Chonburi Provincial Transport Office, stated that some rules will be adjusted to make it easier for Bolt riders to register their vehicles.
This includes the removal of a requirement that Bolt riders need to be affiliated with a specific legal motorbike taxi stand. However, they still need to seek certification from their partnering company to ensure proper registration as well as getting a yellow plate in order to filter out people with criminal records to ensure the safety of passengers.
This needs to be done within four months, according to Mr. Sophak.
The Chonburi Provincial Transport Office will work outside of regular working hours from 15:00 to 18:00 hrs, to facilitate the issuance of public transportation licenses from Monday to Friday for Bolt riders.
As part of some of the other new agreements, Bolt riders are also required to
- Pay proper taxi dues to local municipalities as do motorbike and regular taxi drivers.
- Not pick up customers within a 100-meter radius of a legal motorbike taxi riders’ stand.
- If Bolt riders are caught violating the rules, regular taxi riders can take a picture of them and file a report to the police for prosecution.