Taxi Boss Sees More Demand After Curbs On E Hailing


PETALING JAYA: More people have been turning to taxis since a new regulation over e-hailing drivers came into effect, according to Shamsubahrin Ismail, founder and adviser of Big Blue Taxi Facilities Sdn Bhd
However another taxi organisation, Gabungan Teksi SeMalayia, said there had been only a modest increase
Shamsubahrin said the change in users’ response could be seen from the demand for taxi services in Kuala Lumpur. “Not just in KL Sentral but even at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Twin Towers (KLCC). The numbers used to be low at KLCC, but now we can get 500 to 800 trips a day. That’s just KLCC, not including other places,” he said
The new regulations require e-hailing drivers to obtain a Public Service Vehicle licence and have their cars undergo an inspection. So far only 41% of Grab drivers are said to have obtained their PSV license, while 24% were still awaiting approval
Shamsubahrin said the increase was not only due to demand by users but also because of requests from e-hailing drivers to join his taxi company
“We’ve received around 30-80 (e-hailing drivers) registrations every day since Oct 12 and it’s still going until now
“They’re starting to open their eyes and believe that picking up passengers with prices that are too low does not ensure the financial status needed to service and bear the operational costs of e-hailing drivers,” he said
Shamsubahrin added that passengers prefer using taxis that are metered
However, his figures are disputed by Gabungan Teksi SeMalaysia (GTSM) president Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain, who said there had been only a 5% to 10% increase in the number of passengers
Requests from e-hailing drivers to join taxi services had not even reached 5%, he said
He was confident that more customers would turn to taxis
“This is based on information we’ve received from our ‘eyes’ (drivers) throughout the country. There are many e-hailing drivers who are still operating although they have not complied with the regulations set by Puspakom,” he said
Kamaruddin claimed there were e-hailing vehicles that were more than three years old lacking the Puspakom sticker while still registered with Grab
He expressed disappointment over Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook’s statement that enforcement of the new rule on e-hailing drivers would not be done on a large scale initially
Kamaruddin accused the minister of discreetly making a u-turn. “By right, he should no longer compromise on drivers who don’t follow the rules. All vehicles that don’t comply with the rules should have been stopped from midnight on Oct 12, but the opposite is what happened.” - FMT

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