All motorcycles used for taxi services that bear white licence plates have to be sporting yellow plates by the end of June or be taken off the road, the government has decided.
That applies to Grab and other services based on phone applications, as well as many regular motorcycle-taxis.
Yellow plates indicate the vehicle is licensed for public transport.
Department of Land Transport deputy director-general Jongrak Kitsamrankhun said after a meeting on Thursday that anyone with a white licence plate continuing to offer taxi services after June would face a fine of up to Bt2,000.
He said the department would soon consult relevant parties regarding a ministerial regulation covering app-based taxi services to ensure they cannot take advantage of customers.
Major General Manas Jandee, deputy director of Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) in Bangkok, presided at Thursday’s meeting at City Hall, at which traditional motorcycle-taxis and app-based services including Grab, Go Bike and Banana Bike were represented.
It was the latest attempt to resolve a conflict between the traditional service providers and the digital newcomers that has frequently become overheated.
Angry confrontations and even fistfights have become common as the rivals vie for passengers.
Manas expressed dismay at the disorder on the streets and noted that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had already held four meetings on the problem.
Saying the government wanted to encourage the use of both kinds of motorbike-taxi services, Manas insisted only that the riders have a public transport licence and proper licence plate.
He suggested that regular motorcycle-taxi riders register with the app-based services so they’d get more customers.