Uber now offers rides in Malaysian taxis

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 Sept 2017:

With ride-sharing services legalised in Malaysia, and some licensing requirements to be met by drivers serving the public, the local cabbie fraternity have bowed to the inevitable and embraced the long-proffered  partnership with Uber.

This move effectively isolates errant taxi drivers who used to get away with impunity when abusing and cheating passengers – given that more and more cabbies will now have to abide by feedback and rating systems available via smartphone apps that Uber operates with.

A similar rating system is already in place for taxi drivers who have signed up with Uber competitor Grab – effectively sounding a death-knell for cabbies who still don’t want to embrace the smart tech platforms and end up whiling away hours fruitlessly waiting for passengers – who’d shun them.

While it’s still early days, Malaysian commuters can now look forward to avoid cabbies who claim ‘meter rosak’ (spoilt meters) and change exorbitant ‘fixed fares’ and thuggish behaviour.

One can also hope to see the end of monopolistic prepaid cab ‘bookings’ at designated places like shopping malls and transport hubs – resulting in a far more efficient transport system driven by customer demand and more courtesy from drivers.

These changes should start today with Uber launching its taxi-hailing option on its app – a direct result from the partnership forged in July with Conglomerate of Taxi Driver Association and Companies (Gabungan).

The UberX service has been expanded, beyond unmarked cars, to include taxis – whichever is closer will be linked up to the waiting customer. This service has now been rebranded UberFlash

For those who’d prefer paying metered rates in normal taxis, Uber offers the UberTaxi option.

Warren Tseng, general manager of Uber Malaysia and Singapore, said: “UberFlash and UberTaxi broadens the concept of ridesharing, making things better for all – driver-partners, riders, and the city.

He said the e-hailing company will require drivers to pass a background check and features that have contributed to the Uber experience – such as the mutual rating system and the customer support infrastructure – remain available and in effect.

“All UberFlash rides will be priced the same as an UberX and riders will be able to see the fare upfront before requesting a ride.

“UberFlash riders are expected to experience a shorter wait time, since they can expect to be picked up by any vehicle on the network that is nearest to them, including taxis.

“As for UberTaxi, pricing will be based on SPAD’s taxi meter rates.”

“For those who clearly prefer UberBLACK or uberXL, those services still remain available as dedicated offerings.”

Leave a Reply