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Not everyone is complaining about the upcoming fare increase in Express Rail Link (ERL) services to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and KLIA 2, where a one-way ticket between KL Sentral to KLIA/KLIA2 on the KLIA Express is set to cost RM55 from January 1.

The fare increase will be a boon for premium taxi services, as The Sun Daily reports. According to Premium Big Blue Taxi Services adviser Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail, a taxi service can now be cheaper than using the KLIA Express, if there are a few passengers involved in the equation.

“Our competition is no longer ERL, the price increase is a good thing for us. At RM35 for a one-way ticket to KLIA, it made it hard for us to get passengers but at RM55, it becomes expensive for people to use the service,” he said, pointing out that if three people use the premium taxi service the fare will be a flat rate of about RM130, whilst for the ERL it will be about RM165.

The ERL fare increase, he said, will allow taxi drivers to earn more, and the benefit will not only be limited to premium taxis but to budget taxis as well. Shamsubaharin said the company, which currently operates from Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), had received a lot of enquiries since the announcement of the ERL ticket price increase.

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He said that while the number of trips made by the taxi service to KLIA was on the increase, the company will be going all out to promote its services via social media and also the newspapers to show how much cheaper it is compared to ERL.

In a separate matter, Shamsubaharin said that the issue of SPAD taking action against taxi drivers, especially budget taxis drivers, was the wrong way to go about things. He said that if a taxi driver is found flouting the law, SPAD must come down hard on the permit holder to show they would not tolerate such activities.

“Action should be taken against permit holders because they should be responsible for their drivers. They get close to RM2,000 a month from the drivers and their cost for the taxi is about RM700. Permit holders must ensure that all their taxis are up to the mark and clean and their drivers while being respectful and disciplined also follow the law,” he said.