Cabbies, take a look in the mirror before protesting

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YOURSAY | ‘Grab is restoring trust in public transport, which has been damaged by taxi drivers.’

Cabbies protest near Parliament over e-hailing services

Lkkeong2: I really don’t understand why the taxi drivers are protesting. Your service is horrible!

We have been cheated by you for so many years – drivers who purposely inflate the fare, who don’t use the meter, refuse to take customers if their destination is not to their liking, and so on.

And not to forget, many of the taxis are old vehicles that are not safe to be in.

So, if you can’t change and improve to meet the needs of the market, you are to be blamed. Don’t go protesting just because there is another better competitor/choice in the market.

VijayR: Yes, this is utter nonsense from the taxi drivers. I’ve been using taxis for a long time before the emergence of e-hailing services. The fact is, our local taxis/taxi drivers are:

1. Expensive and do not use the meter

2. Old and filthy (so uncomfortable)

3. Rude (because there were no competitors)

4. Drive haphazardly

5) Have useless air conditioning, etc

Are these enough or need I continue? Well, it will be embarrassing for our taxi drivers if I do.

I had always hoped they would be replaced by other means of public transport, and it was a sign of relief when e-hailing came in. I plead to the Transport Department not to give in to their unrealistic demands.

Freethinker: Ride-hailing company Grab has been here for years. Why protest now, and not during the BN era?

Grab offers better service and fair prices. If you can’t survive driving a taxi, switch to driving Grab.

The Pragmatist: Grab is restoring trust in public transport, which has been damaged by taxi drivers. Think of Tourism Malaysia – we don’t want taxi drivers chauffeuring our tourists.

They are not held accountable for their actions, and it is time the Transport Ministry gets tough with them.

Use Singapore as a model for a trusted taxi system that can co-exist with Grab.

Anonymous #20999887: How is Grab (or Uber, Mycar) illegal? It’s a free enterprise and drivers and passengers choose to be part of the platform.

Is there a law against the public willing and wanting to pay for this service (whether or not they are being insured, etc, etc)? It’s the same thing as online stores such as Airbnb, or eBay, Mudah.

The taxi drivers need to wake up and do something about their business model and service offerings. Or else they will end up like music recording or video rental companies – irrelevant and obsolete.

Ultimately, we could in future have self-drive Grab cars, and then even Grab drivers would be disrupted.

Anonymous_1527658987: I don’t really have much sympathy for taxi drivers in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. They are rude and they cheat.

In Penang, they refuse to use the meter flat out. They prefer to fleece one tourist for RM50 than serve five regular passengers.

So, I hope that some accommodation might be made for Grab. I like its transparency and accountability for its rates (you pay for what you get).

That said, I don’t think the police needed to have had the kind of presence it had at this demonstration by taxi drivers. Tear gas guns on standby, really? The police, like our taxi drivers, need a new standard operating procedure.

Anonymous 1802761448130592: As a consumer, I must say I had suffered enough under the underhand dirty tactics of taxi drivers – refusing to pick up on certain routes during peak hours, refusing to use meters, overcharging, being rude and abusive, and using dirty and rickety vehicles.

Should the taxi drivers now have the moral standing to call e-hailing illegal?

I used to have fear and trepidation each time I needed to hail a taxi then. Now with e-hailing, I feel much more confident and comfortable calling and riding in one.

However if, as claimed by the taxi drivers, e-hailing services are not legal or regulated, or the drivers are being taken advantage of by the e-hailing outfits, then the Transport Ministry should look into these seriously.

But please, do not ban e-hailing and throw us back onto the streets again to be abused by the taxi drivers.

Clever Voter: Indeed, before Uber arrived, then Grab, the majority of commuters are subject to awful and rude services from these taxi drivers.

Despite having the so-called deluxe version but more expensive blue ‘limo’, the commuters were made to pay whatever fares they insisted. These lazy rent-seekers have no idea what customers want, and they are reluctant to embrace new technology.

Protesting for better fares is one thing, but the insistence on monopoly is a no-no.

Jack Lim: Dear transport minister, with due respect I disagree with your formulation of getting the e-hailing service to be on par with taxi operators.

This is the digital world. If the e-hailing service has to go through the rules and regulation set decades ago, then we are akin to be moving backwards.

Furthermore, if e-hailing has to go through the formal process; what about those online sales sites and services which I don’t think any regulatory body can control?

Instead of protesting, the taxi drivers should look at their service, their attitude, even the cleanliness of their vehicles. Face the real world – if you need to take down your taxi badge, so be it.

Solution: Stop issuing any new taxi licences, cancel those that can be cancelled, train the drivers to be on e-hailing platform, and disallow younger drivers from continuing to drive taxis if they refuse to learn the new way.

In short, the industry has to die a natural death.


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