Increases in taxi fares will be accepted by consumers, as long as they are regulated by meter and are reasonable, said senior vice president of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA) Datuk Koris Atan.
“The majority of consumers are ready to pay the amounts displayed on the fare meters even if there is a raise. The problem lies with taxi drivers who refuse to use the meter and overcharges passengers,” Koris told TheSun Daily.
Koris cited UK-based website London Cabs, which rated KL cabbies as the worst in the world in a survey last year. He adds that he has taken cabs in over 60 countries but has only been cheated once, unlike back home in Malaysia.
“Just recently, I took a taxi from Puduraya to Brickfields and the driver wanted to charge me RM50 for the journey!” Koris suggested that taxi drivers who break the law be immediately sacked or at the very least have their licenses revoked for such breach of conduct.
Taxi fares are set to be revised, as part of a plan to streamline taxi operations in the country. A revamp of Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M) is part of 11 initiatives proposed by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), which will help drivers of these taxis own individual taxi permits.
A senior government official told the local daily that the overhaul will be based on a dynamic fare structure, and may include the installation of new taxi meters with GPS for performance assessment. This rate will only apply to conventional taxis, the source added. App-based services from transportation network companies such as Grab and Uber will not be subjected to the regulated fare rate.
He added that surge pricing – essentially, automatic higher fare rates when the demand for taxis is high – that is currently practised by TNCs will continue to be allowed, and may also apply to conventional taxis. “Consumers will decide which is more attractive to use – conventional taxis or Uber,” he said. In March last year, the government announced new metered taxi fare.
The budget taxi flag-down rate in the Klang Valley remained at RM3 (RM4 in Penang) as before the hike, but time and distance rates were increased to 25 sen for every 200 metres or and/or every 36 seconds. The flag-down rate for Teksi1Malaysia (brown Proton Exora or Toyota Innova) was revised to RM4, with a distance cost of 30 sen for every 200 metres.
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