Malaysia-Taxi-03

Taxi fares are set to be revised soon, the move being one of the measures to streamline cab operations in the country, The Sun reports. The action is aimed at helping taxi drivers cope with the upcoming taxi industry transformation programme – which includes the proposed legalisation of e-hailing services – that will come about by the end of the year.

The publication was told by a senior government official involved in the taxi industry overhaul process that the rate will be based on a dynamic fare structure and may include the installations of new taxi meters with GPS for performance assessment.

This rate will only apply to conventional taxis. App-based services from transportation network companies such as Grab and Uber will not be subjected to the regulated fare rate, the unnamed source said.

“It is up to them to offer lower fares than the taxi rates. Besides, there is no law stating that it is wrong for taxi drivers or transport provider to offer fares lower than the regulated fare rate. Market forces will shape the fare trend in the long run,” he stated.

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He added that surge pricing – essentially, automatic higher fare rates when the demand for taxis is high – that is currently practised by TNCs will continue to be allowed, and may also apply to conventional taxis. “Consumers will decide which is more attractive to use – conventional taxis or Uber,” he said.

Taxis will still have the advantage over e-hailing services in many ways, such as paying less for highway tolls and flexibility in picking up passengers, the source said, because street hailing for Uber or Grab drivers will not be allowed.

“E-hailing drivers with private cars cannot queue at the taxi stands at shopping malls, hotels, transport hubs or LRT stations. Pick up (passengers) is only strictly via the app, that is from booking ‘job’ in the app,” he explained. Grab and Uber vehicles are also set to be identifiable, being assigned with a logo at the door or windscreen of the car.

In March last year, the government announced new metered taxi fare rates. The budget taxi flag-down rate in the Klang Valley remained at RM3 (RM4 in Penang) as before the hike, but time and distance rates were increased to 25 sen for every 200 metres or and/or every 36 seconds. The flag-down rate for Teksi1Malaysia (brown Proton Exora) was revised to RM4, with a distance cost of 30 sen for every 200 metres.