Taxi drivers

Taxi Drivers Demand Government Create Unified Email App, Allowing Nothing Else

Unhappy with the emergence and disruptive effects of ride-sharing services over the past half-decade, taxi drivers are now asking the Malaysian government to help level the playing field by developing an app just for them.


Specifically, the outcry was channeled through a memorandum from Penyatuan Pemain Industri Pengangkutan Darat Malaysia (PPDM), an organization that represents the views and interests of taxi drivers in Malaysia, and delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office.

In it, they asked the federal government to take charge of correcting the disparity and lack of growth in the taxi industry by developing a bespoke “e-hailing” style app. However, this would not just compete with current commercial players such as Grab and AirAsia Ride, but supplant them all.

In effect, this would mean that all future ride bookings (and charges, presumably) will be directed through this unified application, with the aforementioned private companies depending on the government to distribute the distribution of customers, routes and rides according to their discretion. .

By doing so, the government could have the means to offer better fares to Malaysians who use the app by applying consistent and uniform fares between taxis and other transport vehicles/services, allowing them to compete on quality and price. merit of service rather than market monopoly and marketing budget.

According to PPDM, these private industry players have so far undermined billions of Ringgit from the taxi industry and with this unified application could better channel collective revenues and profits to improve the quality of taxi services. in the country in addition to providing better insurance. coverage for the drivers themselves as well as scholarships for their children, among others.

Taxi - Bukit Bintang

Years ago, drastic action was also called for by a coalition of taxi drivers when ride-sharing apps started up in Malaysia. Do you remember when Uber was still around? At the time, they called for an outright ban on these services, repeatedly pointing out the lack of security, the potential for exorbitant fees (ironically) and of course the threat this posed to the internet industry. taxi – their livelihood.

Unaware that such a drastic change would take years to fully materialize, even if taxi drivers got everything they wanted in this memorandum, it is unclear whether the end result will improve the transport situation for Malaysians. .

Yes, there are plenty of complaints to come that the current Grab monopoly has led to a steady increase in price per fare, but the solution to that is probably not to introduce harsh government oversight. As is the case in other countries, competition is the crucible of improvement, and as better alternatives emerge, the struggle between services to win every customer will make the best quality service flourish. .