Despite Over 30,000 Registered at YRTA, Many Have Yet to Sign Up

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Over 30,000 vehicles have been registered as city taxis at the Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) up to January 2 but thousands are expected to remain outside the list.

The YRTA announced in November 2017 that all taxis must register by the end of December as the last date.

In total, 7,880 taxis were registered while another 4,642 taxis changed their registered location; an additional 19,520 vehicles were given city taxi registration.

The authority stopped accepting registration applications after December 31 last year, meaning that in 2018, no vehicle can apply to be a taxi in Yangon Region.

In Myanmar, vehicles which serve as taxis are unregulated and there is not licensing system for the sector. The overwhelming majority of the taxis plying the streets are operated by individual owners and taxi fees depend on the negotiation between the driver and the prospective passenger.

Yangon Regional Minister U Phyo Min Thein remarked earlier that the government will reform the industry in order to improve its services and road safety, as well as to tackle municipal crimes, the issue of drug use and enhance the city’s reputation among visitors.

Many vehicles remain unregistered

Documents from the Road Transport Administration Department (RTAD) suggests that there were over 60,000 taxis which are registered at the RTAD, but the actual figure is estimated to be more than the official number. In practice, some vehicles have not registered at the department.

Since only slightly over 30,000 taxis were listed as city taxis at the YRTA, many were expected to remain unregistered.

The Yangon Region government abolished the Yangon Region Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles and then formed the YRTA in early 2017, an entity which is responsible for city taxi registration and extension.

YRTA secretary U Maung Aung said in November that all vehicles which desire to continue to serve as taxis had to complete their registration by December 31. After that, the authority will take action against unregistered “taxis”.

Taxis are one of the commonly used modes of transport in the region, alongside commuter trains and public buses. But taxi service in the country’s commercial capital centre is far from professional.

The service in Yangon has improved with the emergence of two international operators: Uber and Grab, as well as two local companies: Hello Cab and Oway Ride. Passengers can hire these taxis through their mobile phones, Facebook accounts, or through the companies’ websites and call centres.

Despite these developments, many commuters remain left out in the process and still had to endure all these inconveniences just to get to their destinations. The taxis do not use fare metres so prices are basically haggled.

A major problem still perpetuates the sector is that many commuters are not familiar with mobile application and hence do not regularly use the operators.

The regional government’s electricity, industry, transport and communications minister Daw Nilar Kyaw said in December that the government will outline the rules and regulations for both domestic and international taxi operators, but no updates from the administration are made so far.

With the introduction of the Yangon Bus Service (YBS) in January last year, the regional government turned its attention to the city’s taxis, and sought to have a system of licensed cabs to run side-by-side with taxi service operators. The chief minister noted that the lack of an established taxi association in the city would make ride-hailing services particularly suitable. There was also an absence of opposition against these innovative services which were much more prevalent in cities where a taxi association leads the industry.

 

Source: Myanmar Times

 

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