Level playing field for e-hailing drivers, cabbies

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PUTRAJAYA — E-hailing drivers will be regulated under the same licensing conditions as taxi drivers beginning today.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced yesterday a slew of new regulations that he said would even the playing field for taxi and e-hailing drivers.

This means, like taxi drivers, e-hailing drivers will also need to go through regular car inspections, health checks and renew their driver’s card annually.

All the new regulations will take effect today, with a one-year moratorium given to drivers and companies to comply with them.

Putrajaya will also impose a new commission cap for e-hailing firms, Loke told reporters after his ministry’s
post-Cabinet meeting.

As a result, firms are not allowed to collect more than 10 per cent commission from taxi drivers using their platform, and not more than 20 per cent commission from other drivers.

To protect drivers, all firms are required to set up a mechanism for their drivers to file complaints.

“For the safety of the drivers, passengers are required to upload a copy of their identification card or passport online through the smartphone application for the service,” he said.

Taxi drivers who wish to join e-hailing platforms will be given a RM5,000 incentive by the government to purchase new vehicles. The same incentive will be given to cabbies whose lease permits with taxi companies have ended and now wish to buy their own vehicle.

“The government wants to ensure there is a land public transportation industry where the companies and drivers can earn their income in harmony and at the same time provide reasonable service for the people,” he added.

The regulation changes will be brought under the Land Public Transport Act (Amendment 2017) and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Act (Amendment 2017).

Both amendments were brought about last year by the previous government to require e-hailing firms to be licensed by the government.

“These laws were already passed, we are only implementing them,” he said.

The regulation changes were also drafted by SPAD sometime back following consultation with all stakeholders, he added.

Loke said before the decision was made on the new regulations, a survey was carried out by SPAD on 46,000 respondents and 70 per cent of them prefered that the government regulate e-hailing services.

He added that he also held discussions with taxi associations recently.