MAHB says new e-hailing regulation aimed at reducing congestion, not extra profit

Jerry Choong
KLIA’s operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) denied that the waiting time is to generate additional revenue, as claimed by some parties. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — The recently implemented five-minute waiting time for e-hailing ride services at KLIA is meant to ensure smooth vehicle flow at the terminal kerbside and to manage any potential congestion.

KLIA’s operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) denied that the waiting time is to generate additional revenue, as claimed by some parties.

“An average of 165,000 passengers pass through both KLIA Main and KLIA2 terminals daily. The public transport hub at both terminals combined sees an average of 2,200 public transport vehicles daily, including an average of 300 e-hailing drivers,” it said in a statement.

MAHB, therefore, said it was important to impose a maximum waiting time so that airport users don’t face congestion.

“Malaysia Airports had conducted a study to determine the maximum waiting time, prior to the implementation, which shows passenger pick-ups for a six-person ride which includes senior citizens and children can be achieved in less than four minutes.

“It was also determined that as of Saturday (October 12) 95 per cent of e-hailing drivers managed to do so, significantly improving the vehicle flow at the terminal kerbside and reducing congestion,” MAHB said.

E-hailing drivers picking up passengers can avoid paying extra charges by driving out of the terminal within the allocated time, since no charges will be imposed as a result. If passengers have not yet arrived at their designated pick-up points, the airport operator said drivers can also opt to exit the area first and re-enter the kerbside area.

“We would also like to suggest e-hailing drivers make prior confirmation with their passengers, to ensure they are already waiting at the pick-up point, as outlined in the circular that we had sent out to all e-hailing operators

“On top of this, Malaysia Airports has also designated an additional waiting area for e-hailing drivers opposite the Long-Term Car Park, which is just a five-minute drive away from the terminal. We encourage all e-hailing drivers to make full use of this waiting area as it will help cooperation in reducing congestion at the terminal kerbside,” it said.

MAHB added that it is in the midst of discussions with KLIA2’s transport hub operator Gateway@Klia2 Shopping Mall to resolve the issue of the RM5 entrance fee to the transport hub.

The regulation which came into effect on Saturday requires e-hailing drivers to pay an additional RM10 charge if they exceed the five-minute duration while waiting at the designated pick-up lanes. An additional RM10 is further imposed for every five minutes thereafter.

Effective November 1, a RM5 charge will be imposed for each entry into the pick-up point, and drivers must have a Touch N’ Go with a minimum value of RM20 or pay-wave cards to gain entry into the points.

This has resulted in complaints from e-hailing drivers, with Malaysia E-hailing Drivers Association president Daryl Chong saying that it is near impossible to complete a pick-up within five minutes.

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