BANGKOK: Hundreds of thousands of regular passengers of GrabBike will be looking for alternative transport after the unregistered motorcycle taxis are removed from service in mid-July by order of the Department of Land Transport (DLT).
And tens of thousands of Grab Bike drivers will be out of work.
Grab Thailand recently notified its driver partners that it is required to expel drivers who use motorcycles which are unregistered for public transport service within 30 days, which falls on July 15.
Worachat Luxkanalode, executive director at Grab Thailand, said this would affect tens of thousands of driver partners, who would lose their livelihood.
Grab was obliged to follow through on the DLT demand that GrabBike drivers must have have public transport driving licences and their motorcycles be registered for public transport service, he said.
The drivers are also required to provide service only in the area where they are registered with the DLT, with fares at the same rate as applied at motorcycle-taxi queues, according to the DLT stipulation.
Mr Worachat said if state agencies fail to provide assistance to tens of thousands of GrabBike drivers in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, these drivers would be left in the lurch with no incomes to feed their families.
This would affect hundreds of thousands of regular passengers, who would have a more limited choice of transport, he said.
Mr Worachat said Grab will again meet with the DLT this week and ask it to consider ways to alleviate the impact and the timeframe.
“The company is ready to assist driver partners to the full,” Mr Worachat said.
According to the Grab notification letter sent to drivers, the company has put every effort over the past several months into trying to solve the problem with the DLT and ease the impact on drivers and passengers, but there was still no clear solution from the DLT.
An online petition has been launched on change.org in opposition to the move.