Here's Why E-Hailing Services May Cost More And Take Longer To Book From 12 July Onwards

"With the possibility of fewer drivers on the road, you may experience an increase in dynamic fares."

Fares for e-hailing services such as Grab and MyCar are expected to be higher as significantly fewer drivers will be working as of today, 12 July

In April, the Ministry of Transport formalised new regulations as part of the government's move to regulate the e-hailing industry and create a level playing field with taxis, New Straits Times reported.

Image via Reuters

Many drivers, particularly part-timers, have reportedly decided to opt out of meeting the requirements due to the lengthy processes and costs, which are estimated to be RM800

The Ministry of Transport's requirements:

1. Obtain a public service vehicle (PSV) licence (which includes a six hour-long training module, background screenings, and medical checkups);
2. Obtain passenger insurance;
3. Obtain an e-hailing sticker;
4. Obtain an e-hailing vehicle permit (EVP) from the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD),
5. Get initial and annual vehicle checks at Puspakom centres;
6. Contribute to Socso; and
7. Equip their cars with safety gear, including fire extinguishers.

Image via Gila Hartanah

As the July deadline approached, customers were warned to expect more frequent dynamic pricing, depending on the location and time of day, such as during peak hours, rainy weather, or in secluded areas, Free Malaysia Today reported.

In addition to pricing, e-hailing companies are reminding users to anticipate longer waiting times.

Despite being the biggest e-hailing operator in the country with about 200,000 active drivers, only 10% had reportedly obtained the PSV licence

"Grab, together with our driver-partners, have been working hard to comply with the regulatory requirements," Grab said in a statement on its website, revealing that it has sought to help drivers by covering some of the expenses incurred.

Image via Soya Cincau

"However, with the possibility of fewer drivers on the road, you may experience an increase in dynamic fares, especially during peak hours and rainy weather," it read.

It was estimated that, depending on the demand, those who are used to waiting for five minutes may now have to wait 10 minutes for their ride.

"We advise passengers to pre-plan their travel by making earlier bookings, especially if they have a flight to catch or need to attend an important event," a Grab spokesperson said, according to The Star.

Meanwhile, MyCar founder and director Mohd Noah Maideen said that only 400 of its drivers have obtained their PSV licence.

"I have no choice but to block those who are not ready from getting on the road," he said.

Image via Front Desk

MyCar, the second largest e-hailing operator, has about 30,000 active drivers.

Mohd Noah urged the authorities to be lenient on enforcement, saying that many drivers were still going through the process to be PSV ready.

"Getting the PSV licence is one thing. The drivers will still not be allowed on the road until APAD issues them with the EVP document, which takes time," he said.

He added that the e-hailing company will continue to get cabbies to join its platform in anticipation of a driver shortage.

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