TOKYO, Feb 08 (News On Japan) - Starting in April, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has compiled a draft operational policy for the introduction of "ridesharing," where private drivers use their own vehicles to transport passengers for a fee.
Under the proposed policy, the destination and fare would be confirmed at the time of reservation, with payments to be made cashlessly. Taxi companies, which will manage the operations, will be required to monitor the working conditions of drivers.
Ridesharing is set to be introduced in April, limited to certain regions, on the condition that taxi companies manage the operations. The ministry presented the draft policy at a meeting with experts held on the 7th. According to the draft, to prevent disputes between drivers and passengers, the departure and arrival points, as well as the fare, will be confirmed at the time of reservation, with payments to be made principally through cashless methods.
To ensure safety, taxi companies managing the operations will be required to establish a training and guidance system similar to that for professional drivers and to be aware of the working hours of private drivers who have other jobs to prevent any interference with their driving duties. Meanwhile, the regions and times when ridesharing will be applied will be designated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism based on data from ride-hailing apps. The draft policy received approval from the experts at the meeting on the 7th, and after soliciting opinions from the public, the ministry plans to make a formal decision by the end of March.