According to Kamarudin Mohammad Hossain, president of Combined Taxi across Malaysia, the number of users opting for taxis instead of ride-hailing has increased by 40% due to the costly fare of the latter during rush hour.
He said passengers are happy whenever ride-hailing companies offer fare discounts, but they go back to taxis if ride-hailing services increase their fares too much. “Ride-hailing fares can be increased (partly on occasion) because the government has not introduced regulated fares (for ride-hailing services), as there are for taxis,” he said.
I’m talking The sun, He said, adding that some companies are taking advantage of peak hours on the basis of high demand because of the rush-hour fare hike. Creating a pitch for taxis and their continued existence, he said ride-hailing fares would continue to rise, and it would be impossible not to get out of control if the number of taxis decreased.
“Taxi service is a national land transport service that is fully regulated by the government, including the fares we charge,” he said.
He said services like ride-hailing could benefit the industry and the country, but added that the government needed to do more to properly regulate such services. Failure to do so, he said, would make things “harmful to business as well as taxi and e-healing drivers”.
Mahidin Abdul Quader, president of the Penang Consumers’ Association, echoed Kamaruddin’s sentiments, saying ride-hailing services like Grab should have a taxi fare ceiling. He said that although grab rent has not increased permanently at all times of the day, it has become very costly during peak hours, public holidays and bad weather, and has become doubly or more ridiculously excessive.
He said it was because Grab had fewer drivers now. “If it thinks it doesn’t have enough drivers to cover the growing number of customers, they can raise prices permanently. We hope it doesn’t happen, because a lot of people rely on Grab to get around, “he explained.
He adds that many other e-hailing providers, such as Mikeer, Maxim and Driver, have reasonable fares, but when a customer tries to book a ride, it takes forever to get it, or there is nothing to be found. As such, Grab still has a monopoly on drivers.
The publication contacted Priority Communications, which manages Grab’s public relations, to ask how the ride-hailing provider determines its fare and what measures it uses to calculate it. However, in addition to noting that Grab is currently monitoring a blackout period (a policy or rule determines a specific interval when restricting or denying a certain action), it states that it is unable to obtain permission to comment on the matter.