THE Consumer Council (消委會) urged the government to legalise e-hailing services, in a progressive approach to give people more choice and improve service quality. Council chairman Wong Yuk-shan (黃玉山) said Hong Kong needs competition to improve the personalised service market.
Council chief executive, Gilly Wong Fung-han (黃鳳嫺), said it is now difficult for consumers to assess the attitude of taxi drivers. “But if this is included in a regulated e-hailing services platform, people will know which taxi drivers are good and which are bad,” she said.
It suggested the government issue three distinct licences to e-hailing service providers, the vehicles and the drivers. Licence holders must disclose to consumers the fare or any surcharge and the route to be taken before they book the trip.
Service providers should also conduct background security checks on drivers to ensure they have purchased insurance to cover passengers, keep records of trips and handle passenger feedback and complaints. In addition, the cars should be in good condition and not older than seven years. There should be no limit to the number of driving licences issued but drivers must have at least three years’ driving experience, pass the background security check and meet the required language skills and health conditions.
Uber welcomed the council’s suggestions, but the taxi industry objected, saying that the council’s proposal is “wrong” and “unfair”
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 06 December 2017)
Unleashing Competition in thePersonalised Point-to-Point Car Transport Service Market
Personalised and point-to-point transport services in Hong Kong –Legco paper