E-hailing Surge Leaves 30,000 Taxis Abandoned

Approximately 30,000 taxis across the country have reportedly been left abandoned as drivers claim to have been forced out of business due to the rise of e-hailing services, as reported by local daily Utusan Malaysia. The publication suggests that the number of taxis in operation has decreased from around 120,000 to just 40,000 since the advent of e-hailing.

While the source of the statistics was not cited, Gabungan Teksi Malaysia (GTSM), a taxi drivers’ group, was quoted by Utusan Malaysia, attributing the decline to the significant difference in fares between traditional taxis and e-hailing services. Kamarudin Hussain, the chairman of GTSM, pointed out that consumers are drawn to the lower fares offered by e-hailing services, placing blame on the government for not regulating e-hailing rates.

Kamarudin expressed concern that the lack of control over e-hailing rates has led to a price war among e-hailing companies, resulting in compromised fares. He argued that when rates become extremely affordable, passengers naturally prefer e-hailing services over taxis.

The GTSM chairman also indicated that the low fares in the e-hailing sector are negatively impacting e-hailing drivers, affecting their daily pay and overall income.

Utusan Malaysia claimed that 80,000 taxi drivers have left the industry to pursue other lines of work due to insufficient income. Kamarudin proposed that the government could set a floor price for e-hailing services, aligning it with taxi services, similar to the past adjustments made to taxi fares.

He suggested that the amendment to the Land Public Transport Act 2010, passed in April the previous year, could address the issue without the need for new laws. Kamarudin emphasised that enforcing the amendment could prevent e-hailing companies from reducing fares. Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim mentioned studying proposals to uplift the taxi industry ecosystem after a meeting with GTSM to ensure the welfare of taxi drivers.

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