Malaysia-Taxi-02

It was earlier reported that Big Blue Taxi Services is looking to launch its own mobile application to go up against the likes of Uber and Grab. Now, more information about the imminent service has been revealed, based on a report by The Star.

The new app, which is expected to be launched in October (instead of July), will cater to users in the city’s Golden Triangle region, Ampang, Bangsar, Damansara and Sri Hartamas. Big Blue Taxi Services founder Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said a base rate of RM2 would be charged to users, and that they would have a choice of taxi drivers around them.

Each taxi driver registered with the service will have their details published in the app, and be assigned a star-rating based on customer reviews on their level of service. Other features, including a complaints section for users and a panic button linked to the police in case of emergencies, can also be found in the app.

“Obviously, they (Uber and Grab) will say their app is better. We are coming out with this app to boost revenue for our taxi drivers and to provide satisfactory services for our customers. We admit that Uber and GrabCar have done a good job in creating the platform. But the difference between them and our app is the features and the fact that our taxis have permits and are legal,” Shamsubahrin explained.

Big-Blue-Taxi-01

The app will also include package deals for those who are looking to travel from the city to out-of-state destinations like Genting Highlands, Malacca and Penang. There is even a “carpooling” function, allowing people within proximity who are heading to the same place to share a ride and split the cost.

In the future, Shamsubahrin said Big Blue is contemplating adding a taxi delivery service to the app. Users will be able to hail a cab, drop their goods off, and have them sent to a location. Payment for service can be done using cash or online payment. “We are just trying to remain competitive in the industry,” he said.

The yet-unnamed app will join one of the many new mobile apps available in the country today, with the most recent being iTeksi. In November last year, MesraCab made its debut, followed by Oride.taxi a few months later. The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) are also coming up with an app of its own.

Shamsubahrin has been one of the more vocal personalities against the “illegal operations” of app-based ridesharing services like Uber and Grab in Malaysia. The authorities are looking to legalise such services by end-2016, with an ‘e-hailing’ model set to create a level playing field between app-based ridesharing services and conventional taxis. With Big Blue’s new app and new regulations on the way, do you think taxi drivers will finally be at peace?