By: Lee Hsin-Yin
Taipei, April 23 (CNA) The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) on Tuesday urged ride-hailing service Uber Taiwan to register as a taxi service provider if it wants to maintain its current operation model in the country.
“I am all for the sharing economy, but Uber must follow the law to operate legally in Taiwan,” said Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) in a meeting with the media, adding that it is a matter of market order in which Uber and local taxi companies can compete fairly.
It only takes NT$5 million (US$162,000) to set up a taxi company, and have its 10,000 drivers take the test to obtain a taxi drivers’ license and a taxi service operation permit in order to maintain Uber’s business model, added MOTC Deputy Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材).
Uber would then be covered by Taiwan’s multi-purpose taxi program, which permits upfront pricing and flexible rates with a minimum fare base, without having to change Uber’s general operation style, including the appearances of its vehicles, Wang said.