The Ministry of Transport of Vietnam has asked all kinds of taxis to have a lightbox sign on their roof, including tech-based ones.
According to the new rules, the sign must be fixed on taxis roof with the minimum size of 12 x 30 cm.
The ministry said that app-based taxis have to conform to general business conditions, including roof light box sign, to ensure equality. Meanwhile, the light box sign application is a necessary factor to help distinguish taxis from other kinds of vehicles.
According to Lieutenant-General Dao Thanh Hai, deputy director of Hanoi Police Department, currently app-based taxis have no light box sign, so it is not easy to identify them. In many cases, they still go into banned roads.
Regulations to distinguish taxis are necessary to help the taxi management more easily. For instance, when a criminal case or traffic accident relating to cars occurs, authorities need to define which kinds of vehicle for investigation.
The Transport Ministry had earlier proposed that e-charter automobiles with fewer than nine seats must have light boxes on top, reasoning that such a regulation would help manage transport business operations, enable customers to identify ride-hailing cars on the street, and differentiate between a transport service provider and a supplier of other services.
However, the Ministry of Justice has also voiced its opposition to the Ministry of Transport’s proposal, saying that the proposed requirement is unnecessary.
According to several experts, the installation of roof light boxes on ride-hailing vehicles would raise enterprises’ operation costs and put consumers and drivers at a disadvantage.
Traditional taxi companies have demanded that app-based taxis with less than nine seats should be treated the same as them to “ensure fairness, transparency and the same responsibilities towards customers.”
Traditional taxi operators proposed to liquidate contracts with their taxi drivers in order to switch to the ride-hailing service model using electronic contracts to seize the advantages offered by this model.