27th May 2022 - 3 min read
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has warned e-hailing operators that the Ministry of Transport (MOT) can suspend or revoke their licences if they violate the surcharge amount that has been agreed upon. This came following claims that e-hailing fares have soared during peak hours.
The e-hailing fare is made up of two applicable charges: the base fare and surcharge. While the government does not regulate the base fare, Dr Wee highlighted that operators are only permitted to charge a surcharge of up to 200% of the base fare (taking into account peak rates and fuel prices).
“Regarding the base fare, the e-hailing operators are charging between 70 sen and 90 sen per kilometre. They are also given the flexibility to impose surcharges according to the rule, based on demands and dynamic pricing,” Dr Wee stated.
Aside from that, Dr Wee also warned e-hailing operators to stop pressuring the government with various demands and requests, or the MOT will be forced to regulate the e-hailing industry. “Don’t force me, one day I might have to regulate (the e-hailing industry). I don’t want to go to the extent of disturbing the gig economy; that is why we need to do this harmoniously,” he added.
Dr Wee’s statement was in response to demands by some e-hailing operators, who called for the government to do away with the passenger service vehicle (PSV) licensing for e-hailing drivers. “Those wanting to work as an e-hailing driver are required to get the PSV…it is a clear policy,” he said, adding that the MOT has already eased the recruitment process for e-hailing operators by allowing them to conduct the PSV training at their own companies.
Finally, Dr Wee urged e-hailing passengers who have been charged four times higher than the normal fares to file a formal report with the MOT. He stressed that his ministry will take action against the e-hailing operators if the reports are proven to be true, adding that his ministry is not siding with the operators, as alleged by some parties.
To note, the MOT and the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) had recently met with e-hailing operators to identify the cause of the fare hikes. It was said that driver shortage, as well as a higher traffic volume were the main reasons.
Meanwhile, one of the nation’s biggest e-hailing operators, Grab Malaysia, has stepped forward to reassure customers that it has not changed its fare structure. It also attributed the fare hikes to the supply-and-demand imbalance and higher traffic volume since the country began transitioning to the endemic phase. It added that it is taking several initiatives to address the surge in fares, including offering incentives to both new and existing drivers in its bid to onboard more drivers.
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