An Uber driver was today fined HK$3,000 (about US$382) by Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to carrying a passenger without a proper permit.
The verdict, reported by HK01, follows a crackdown last year on rideshare drivers, resulting in the arrest of 23 people on the same charge.
Coconuts HK recently spoke with a number of rideshare drivers to discuss in depth their experience in the sector, which has been denounced by taxi drivers and deemed illegal by officials.
The Road Traffic Ordinances stipulates a maximum fine of HK$5,000 and a potential three-month jail term for carrying passengers for hire or reward without the necessary permits.
Most of the 30,000 Uber drivers operating in Hong Kong work without a private hire-car permit.
According to HK01, the male driver sentenced today had taken a passenger from Yuen Long to Tsuen Wan in June last year for a fare totaling HK$155.
Six other Uber drivers who appeared along with him denied the charge and had their cases were adjourned until June 21, reported RTHK.
While the taxi industry has remained staunchly opposed to Uber’s operations in Hong Kong, many, including the city’s Consumer Council, have called for ridesharing to be legalized to spur competition and improve the sector.