E-hailing drivers to sit for test, have vehicle inspections (Updated)

11 Jul 2018 / 22:48 H.

PUTRAJAYA: E-hailing drivers will be required to obtain a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license and have their vehicles inspected at Puspakom annually, similar to taxi drivers, beginning tomorrow.
In making the announcement, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said they would also be subjected to a RM115 annual fee for their PSV license renewals.
He said these were among several regulatory procedures that would be implemented by the government to ensure a level-playing field between the e-hailing and conventional taxi industries.
All stakeholders will however be given a one-year moratorium from the gazetting of the procedures tomorrow, before its full implementation next year.
"E-hailing services will be regulated by the government beginning July 12 through the Land Public Transport (Amendment) Act 2017 and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (Amendment) Act 2017.
"With this, e-hailing companies must register themselves with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and will be required to pay a fee," he told a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, here, today.
The companies are also required to register with the Companies Commission of Malaysia and Cooperative Commission of Malaysia.
About 10 e-hailing companies and some 200,000 active drivers are set to be affected by these new procedures.
Loke said drivers must attend a RM200, six-hour course at designated driving institutions before obtaining their driver's PSV card, and would also be screened for criminal records and undergo medical checkup.
"Vehicles need to also be those with a minimum of three-star recognition by the New Car Assessment Programme for Asean Countries (Asean NCAP), and cars over three years need to be inspected at Puspakom with a RM55 fee," he said.
To standardise the industry further, Loke said taxis would also only be required for inspections once a year compared to twice previously, and drivers will enjoy the same RM200 fee and six-hour course for a driver's card.
Other new procedures that are to be implemented include:
> e-hailing services to require passengers to upload their identification cards to provide security for drivers;
> e-hailing vehicles must be insured, including for the drivers, passengers and and third parties;
> e-hailing applications must have a SOS/999 emergency function; and
> companies are required to prepare a driver's guideline
In a move to uphold e-hailing drivers, the government has restricted the amount of commission to be passed on to their companies to 20%, while the rate for taxi drivers using e-hailing applications will be a maximum of 10%.
It is understood that that many drivers have complained that companies are charging them a Commission rate of up to 25%.
"Surcharges for each ride will also be limited to two times the original fare to ensure passengers are not charged with exorbitant amounts," he said.
Asked if the new procedures and regulations would not bode well with the e-hailing companies, Loke said: "Of course they won't be happy, but we come up with the regulations and they have to abide by it. If they think it's not profitable, then they can leave the industry."
Loke also said Grab Malaysia will be investigated for possible monopoly of the industry.
He said SPAD has received numerous amount of complaints from passengers of a supposed increase in fare by Grab following its Southeast Asia's merger with Uber in March.
"The government is currently reviewing a possible e-hailing service monopoly and we are working together with the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC).
"We don't want any services to be involved in monopoly. And if we find any elements of it, we will take action action them," he said.
Loke said investigations would be initiated immediately.
"Our concern is always the fare implemented by these companies on the end user. It must be reasonable," he said.
The deal which was finalised on March 26 between the two largest ride-hailing services meant would Grab would take over Uber's ridesharing and food delivery service Uber Eats.
However, just days following its acquisition, passengers have started complaining on social media of a hike in fares for their Grab rides.


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