Traditional taxi drivers encouraged to adopt e-hailing service

ESTHER LANDAU and SITI NUR MAS ERAH AMRAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Traditional taxi drivers have been encouraged to adopt the e-hailing service as the country is progressing.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said it was important for taxi drivers to accept such services as it could help them in many ways such as meeting the demand and needs of consumers, and earning more than what they earned as a traditional taxi driver.

He said e-hailing drivers should also be supportive in sharing ideas and initiatives to make the taxi drivers adopt the service.

“E-hailing and taxi companies have to adopt to the new regulations within one year. That is a way forward to help taxi drivers to transform in adopting the e-hailing services.

“Certain incentives will be given to the traditional taxi drivers such as giving them individual permits to operate the service as well as help them in terms of financial incentives,” said Loke during a press conference at the “Diffride“, a local e-hailing service provider and a homegrown Malaysian brand service launching ceremony here today.

He said the ministry had also “softened” the regulations for taxi companies where each taxi has to go through car inspection only once a year.

Loke said previously taxi drivers were required to take their cars for inspection six times in a year.

“We want inspections to be standardised with the e-hailing where is it done once a year. This way it is more relaxed for the taxis’,” he added.

Currently, there were more than 300,000 e-hailing drivers nationwide mostly serving as part-time and some 70,000 drivers had registered with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

Also present at the ceremony were Diffride chief executive officer Hannah Yong and SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah.

Meanwhile, on Diffride, Yong said they were targeting to achieve at least 6,000 drivers to register with the company by end of the year.

She said the drivers were required to pay the service provider a flat fee of RM5 daily and they were not required to pay back the company as they will receive clean revenue from doing the business.

She also said they were expecting to expand their service nationwide.

“Our mission is to provide a fair and innovative e-hailing service to the people so that everyone can enjoy a great ride on the road,” she added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd