In July last year, intense pressure and doubts as though there was a ‘secret’ dealing between the taxi companies and Uber despite receiving the drivers’ objections. The association and the Peninsular Taxi companies (GPST) are said to have signed a memorandum of understanding that any discussions for the drivers were denied.
For that, more than 200 taxi drivers marched on parliament to protest against Uber and Grab and claim that their 3 memoranda to the Prime Minister, were unanswered. The complaint was made following the relevant laws on car sharing services under the Land Public Transport Act 2010 (Act 714) and Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 (Act 334), which is expected to be tabled later.
That are the antics of those who simply object for the sake of protesting without contributing any constructive actions to fix their own destiny for a better future.
However, it has now been officially sealed between Uber and participating taxi companies under Gabungan in their pilot program to allow cabbies driving in Uber network with own taxi vehicles.
For those protestors, this Uber-Taxi cooperation is capable of raising their income and simultaneously even their passengers would feel worth it. But how?
At present, these taxi drivers would have to depend on unsure passengers but with the Uber technology introduced since 3 years ago, not only there will be confirmed passengers lining up and yet their destinations are assured.
Whereas for the passengers, not only will the timeliness is enjoyed, even their destination is determined. Above all, the charges are fixed and agreed by both parties between passengers and drivers.
However, in this trial pilot program, only 500 of the best taxi drivers will be considered to take into account their vehicles should also be in the best possible condition. In addition, they need to have a driver’s license and they need to pass the Uber screening such as insurance information and vehicle life expectancy should not exceed 5 years.
This pilot program is open to all types of vehicles including MPV and sedans. Each fare will be determined from UberX. They too are allowed to take other passengers when they are not in the Uber app. A special application will be created by Uber and known as ‘UberTaxi’ whereas passengers can choose to pay either by cash, credit card or via online provided by Uber.
Uber is a company that offers ride-sharing services since 2010 through smartphone applications and has since been launched in 2014 in Malaysia, Uber is now operating in major cities such as Alor Setar, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan, Kuching, Langkawi, Malacca, Kuching, Penang and Seremban.
While GABUNGAN is the amalgamation of taxi associations and taxi companies in Peninsular Malaysia, comprises of 90% of licensed taxis consists of more than 28,000 taxi units.
Hence, there is no reason why this Uber-Taxi cooperation should be opposed while it is able to improve the taxi driver’s income. At that same time, the taxi industry performance and image can be improved with adhering Uber terms to maintain passengers comfort and safety. Is this not a smart partnership?