Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) will study complementary measures for former Uber drivers or similar service providers who plan to operate non-traditional types of taxis to avoid violation of an amended law dubbed the "Uber clause," the transport minister said Friday.
The MOTC will extend the grace period for those unable to obtain the necessary permits in time under a multipurpose taxi service program initiated by the government primarily to encourage Uber and Uber-like taxi services to adhere to the relevant laws, said Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).
Many drivers have taken the multipurpose taxi driver exams that have been held since June to obtain a commercial driver's license, Lin said, adding that around 10,000 drivers could have taken the test within six months.
Under Taiwan law, a multipurpose taxi is defined as a ride service in which the driver is not legally required to use a yellow taxi. The fares are metered, but passengers must contact the drivers via an app.
The amended Article 103-1 of the Regulations for Automobile Transportation Operators, dubbed the "Uber Clause," which took effect June 6, bans Uber from offering taxi services through business partnerships with local car rental operators, as it had been doing.
After a four-month grace period that ends in October, violators will be subject to fines of NT$9,000 (US$285) to NT$90,000.
Lin's remarks came after dozens of affected drivers rallied in front of the MOTC Friday to demand that the government postpone the implementation of Article 103-1.
Lee Wei-er (李威爾), spokesperson of a self-help association of drivers, asked Lin to meet with them to understand the obstacles that are keeping them from making the transition, citing bureaucracy as a major factor.
Before issues such as acquiring permits, financial assistance and insurance registration are resolved, the "Uber clause" should be suspended, he said.