In addition to the expected fare increases due to the July 12 deadline for drivers to obtain the mandatory Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license which will result in reduced ride-hailing driver availability, Grab has stated that ‘getting a ride might take longer’, though efforts are being put forth to help its driver-partners meet the new requirements. Wait times may increase up to twice the typical duration, Grab said in its frequently-asked questions list.

The ride-sharing company has also issued a brief ride-hailing advisory; this includes making bookings earlier than usual and to be ready as soon as the driver arrives in order to minimise wait times. This is especially crucial when there is a flight to catch or important meetings to get to, it said. Passengers can also help alleviate the demand load by riding outside the peak hours of 7pm – 9am and 5pm – 8pm.

Grab hopes that the situation will be temporary, and will continue to issue updates on the matter, it said in its statement. The move to updated regulations for ride-sharing drivers is aimed at creating a more level playing field for both e-hailing drivers and taxi drivers by having both parties subject to the same rules and regulations, deputy transport minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said last year.

The transport ministry said last week that out of approximately 167,000 ride-hailing drivers in Malaysia, only 16,338 had signed up for the PSV test, with 62% (10,151) of those having qualified for the license ahead of the deadline. It is expected that 70% of e-hailing drivers will be PSV-ready by the end of the year, said president of the Malaysian E-hailing Drivers Association (MeHDA) Daryl Chong.