The maximum surcharge that e-hailing companies can charge passengers is 200% of the base fare, and if they are found to exceed that, they can be suspended or have their licences revoked, said transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.
Complaints by commuters about high e-hailing fares have led to a Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) investigation into the matter. On their part, the e-hailing companies say that prices are up because there are not enough drivers, coupled with significantly increased demand. Grab says that there have been no changes to its fare structure – more on that here.
“We are investigating this matter to see if it is true that some e-hailing companies have violated the allowed surcharge amount, which has been set at 200% of the base fare. If found to be true, we will not hesitate to take action on the operators. Their licences can be suspended or even revoked,” he said yesterday, reported by The Star.
Why 200%? Wee explained that the surcharge limit was a policy set by the transport ministry in 2019, before his tenure. “This is a policy that we inherited from before. If you ask me whether the surcharge limit needs to be reviewed, that requires another process,” he said, adding that there are more than 25 registered e-hailing operators in Malaysia and passengers have the right to choose if one is charging high fares.
“I want to clarify that the transport ministry does not side with e-hailing companies. Recently, they claimed in the media that the lack of available cars is because of high demand and also a shortage of drivers. They claimed that demand is high recently because people have just withdrawn RM10,000 from the EPF special scheme. This is absurd and I have asked APAD to investigate this,” he added.
Here’s the chronology on the issue. Consumers complain about high fares. The transport ministry asks e-hailing firms to explain and clarify the surge in pricing. The government accepts the explanation and says that it will not regulate the base fare, which is currently between 70 to 90 cents per km. Market leader Grab then comes out to explain itself to the public. Click on the links to recap.
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