Consumers faced with fare increases from any ride-hailing provider have a choice of picking other similar services offering cheaper fares, according to transport minister Anthony Loke. He said that with 31 ride-hailing operators providing such services, riders should be able to find cheaper alternatives, Bernama reports.

“The consumers should make wise decisions. If there is a fare increase, they have the choice of using other e-hailing services with cheaper fares. We do not want this industry to be a monopoly and there should be competition. If there is competition, the fare will be cheap and no ride-hailing company can wantonly increase their prices,” he said.

He said there were many companies which offer competitive rates and as such, the consumer should assess the provider and application they choose.

Loke however said that any ride-hailing company that is operating without a valid licence will face stern action, and added that ride-hailing drivers who have not yet abided by the conditions including getting a mandatory public service vehicle (PSV) licence have an additional three months to comply by the rules.

The government had originally set a July 12 deadline for ride-hailing drivers to be in possession of a valid PSV licence. As of July 11, 17,596 e-hailing vehicle permits (EVP) had been issued, of which 13,380 are for private vehicles and 4,216 for taxis.