Make Uber legal in Hong Kong, the people need an alternative to taxis

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 July, 2018, 9:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 July, 2018, 9:02pm

I am writing in response to the article, “28 Uber drivers become largest group convicted in Hong Kong’’, July 17. The report highlights the legal issues still plaguing Uber services in Hong Kong.

The 28 drivers were handed fines of between HK$3,800 and HK$4,500 after being found guilty of driving passengers without a hire car permit for their private vehicles, the largest group in Hong Kong to be successfully prosecuted for offering illegal ride-hailing services.

I feel the Hong Kong government should support this kind of taxicab service. Currently, the only legal public transport vehicles for hire are taxis, but these can only be used by a single passenger or a group of up to five – sharing rides is not possible.

For a single passenger, hailing a taxi for a long distance may be too expensive, while ride-sharing offers an economical alternative. Government support for Uber would be convenient for both locals and tourists seeking point-to-point personalised services.

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Our government has much to learn from over 100 markets, including Singapore and countries in the West, or even mainland cities like Beijing and Shanghai, when it comes to supporting innovative businesses. We have a well-developed mobile service, and we can use it to our benefit. Legalise Uber.

Charlotte Kwan, Tseung Kwan O