Closure of taxi companies likely
PETALING JAYA: Some taxi companies facing the exodus of cab drivers may be forced to shut down their operations due to the stiff competition from ride-hailing services.
Federal Territory and Selangor Taxi Operators Association president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said taxi operators might have no other choice other than to close down if drivers continued the trend of returning their cabs.
“We are feeling the pinch,” he told theSun yesterday.
He was responding to a report by theSun on Monday that as many as 10,000 conventional cab drivers may have returned their taxis to their respective companies, in the face of competition from e-hailing services.
“We cannot force drivers to drive our cabs nor can we waive the rental as we too have a lot to pay for,” he said.
When asked if he foresees more drivers leaving the industry, Aslah said: “Just look at what’s happening in the past three to four months”.
Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association president Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain said cabbies had jumped ship to join ride-hailing services because of the incentives provided to them.
“It’s true, there are many drivers who can’t survive and have returned their vehicles. A lot of companies will shut down because of this.
“Before this, they (taxi operators) did not sympathise with us. They imposed high rental charges, forced us to drive even when we were sick just so they could earn their income. Let this be a lesson to them,” he said.
However, Kamaruddin said Grab and Uber drivers may also leave their e-hailing service platforms once the government regulates their services, which could include obtaining a driver’s card and sending their cars for inspections.
Meanwhile, Land Public Transport Commission chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar urged taxi operators to change their business model or risk losing more drivers.
He said keeping to their ageing system could force even more taxi drivers to leave the industry with competition from ride-hailing services like Uber and Grab.
“They have to change with the times,” he added.