A taxi service operator has proposed that the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and government set a higher fare for ride-sharing and taxi booking (via mobile app) services. In reports by Bernama and The Malay Mail, Big Blue Taxi Services founder and advisor Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said that this move should be put in place first before they are allowed to operate legally.

“A fare hike is apt (for Uber and Grabcar services) as these operators practise ride-sharing compared to the budget taxis which impose fare on one passenger at a time,” he said. Shamsubahrin also welcomed the initiative by the Transport Ministry to study possible regulations for ride-sharing services like Uber and GrabCar. However, he is not convinced that the resulting solution will be effective.

“I want to ask the government now, how do you want to regulate (Uber, Grabcar, etc.) in terms of the rate? Because if the rate is much, much cheaper than budget taxis which starts at RM4 and RM2, it means that the government and the ministry themselves are killing the industry,” he said.


Shamsubahrin also suggested that these online app-based taxi services be registered under the limousine permit instead of the hire-and-drive ones employed by taxi drivers. “What permit do you want to give them? Is it hire and drive or limousine? It cannot be the same permit like a budget taxi…if that is so, the taxi industry will become worse,” he stated.

“If they are regulated well and imposed a higher rate, then I welcome them and none of the taxi services should be complaining. The rates must be higher and they must be registered as limousines. If you want to do sharing, it’s your problem, but it must be above the taxis,” he added.

Shamsubahrin also confirmed that he has submitted an application seeking for an injunction against ride-sharing companies for territory infringement that includes areas designated for taxis only.


“One of the conditions fixed by property owners such as shopping malls, who engage us to pick up customers is that we have to ensure that all our vehicles must be Puspakom certified, have valid road tax and permits approved by the government as well as insurance with comprehensive liability coverage and that the cars must be in good condition.

“If it’s a metered taxi, then the rate must be displayed clearly and not tampered,” he said, adding that private hire companies do not possess proper insurance coverage nor permits for commercial purpose. However, Shamsubahrin said that he has no reservations about Uber and GrabCar divers operating in the same area as normal taxi drivers, but insists that they must prove their legality.

Do you agree that ride-sharing (Uber, GrabCar) and taxi booking (via mobile app) services should be charged higher rates? Or is there another alternative solution altogether? Let us know what you think in the comments below.