Taxi drivers in Johor are urging Singapore to grant them an exemption from the Reciprocal Road Charge (RRC), according to The Star. The S$6.40 (RM20) fee, which matches Malaysia’s Road Charge (RC) for foreign vehicles entering the country, is set to come into effect next month.

The drivers reasoned that just as Singaporean taxi drivers are not required to pay RC, so too should they be exempted from the RRC, since the island republic’s scheme is supposed to mirror Malaysia’s.

Johor Baru-Singapore Taxi Terminal chairman Muhamad Najib Abdul Rahman said that the drivers’ worries stemmed from Singapore’s lack of communication about their exemption from the RRC. “We are hoping that since Malaysia has given Singapore taxis an exemption from the RC, the republic will give us similar treatment,” he said.

Muhamad Najib added that 195 Johor taxis ferrying passengers into Singapore through the Causeway would be affected by the RRC unless they were given the exemption. “If Singapore charges us the RRC, we will have to absorb the fee,” he said. “We cannot increase the RM20 per head fare to Singapore and the S$12 (RM37.70) from the republic back to Johor without SPAD (Land Public Transport Commission) approval.”

He also said that the government must allow taxi drivers to increase the fare by at least 10% to cover the cost of the RRC, if they are not exempted. “We will not be able to survive otherwise,” he said.

According to Muhamad Najib, taxi drivers already pay on each trip a RM7.20 toll at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex, plus S$7.30 (RM23) in Singapore – including toll charges at the Woodlands Checkpoint and a S$4 (RM12.56) Electronic Road Price (ERP) charged along Singapore’s Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) and Pan Island Expressway (PIE) during certain hours.

Muhamad Najib added that with all these charges, the RM20 per head fare to Singapore and S$12 (RM37.70) return fare would no longer be enough to sustain their operations. He also said that the demand for taxi services would increase if Singapore grants the exemption and the present fare is maintained.