Clo­sure of taxi com­pa­nies likely

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY AMAR SHAH MOHSEN

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.

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