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Taxi app drivers rally in Phuket after Grab driver beaten

PHOTO: MGR Online

The battle continues to rage between the app-based drivers and the legacy taxi drivers in an elaborate and high-stakes ‘turf war’ on Phuket’s roads.

Now, over 200 drivers from ride-hailing apps (like Grab and Bolt) have rallied in Phuket and submitted a formal letter of complaint to provincial governor, Sophon Suwannarat. The letter was received on Sophon’s behalf by Vice Governor, Amnuay Pinsuwan, according to a Phuket News report.

The drivers gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday morning, December 6, in response to last weekend’s violent assault on a Grab driver near Bangtao Beach, which left him hospitalised with rib injuries and a punctured lung.

Following the assault, two metered taxi drivers presented themselves at Chergntalay Police Station, although it’s understood only one has admitted to the attack, despite the victim claiming there were at least two men involved.

During yesterday’s rally, the app drivers said they were there to appeal for fairness, saying the actions of some “green plate” drivers left them fearing for their lives and afraid to carry out their work.

Also in attendance was Kornpitak Atassuwan from the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office, which has yet to issue a statement on the attack in Bangtao last Saturday, December 2.

In their letter to the governor, drivers working for ride-hailing apps are calling for action against misinformation being spread about them, allegedly by some metered taxi drivers, yellow-plate minivan drivers, and green-plate taxi drivers.

The letter claims these groups are spreading hatred against app drivers, in some cases inciting violence. The letter also says photos of app drivers have been posted online, leaving them fearing for their lives.

The app drivers have urged the governor to arrange a meeting between both sides so that a peaceful resolution can be found for all sides.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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