Frequent users of e-hailing services, take note. Starting this Friday (Jul 12), 90% of e-hailing drivers will not be eligible to drive on the road as they do not possess Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence.
According to The Star, Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) announced earlier this month that only 16,338 out of 167,000 e-hailing drivers have signed up for PSV test.
Out of the sixteen thousand, only 10,151 drivers have gotten the licence. To be exact, that is only 6%!
PSV licence is a Transport Ministry’s policy to regulate commercial vehicle used for paying passengers such as taxis and buses.
Announced in November 2018, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said all e-hailing drivers are required to possess PSV licence too and the enforcement will start this July 12, FMT reported.
The cost to acquire the licence can come up to RM800: RM200 for the test, RM300-RM400 annual insurance charge for a PSV vehicle, and a RM20 PSV licence renewal fee.
The test could be free if drivers took it online, Loke said on July 2.
Those cars over three years old must undergo inspection at Puspakom for an initial RM70 fee, or RM55 for annual inspection. Also, drivers have to go through criminal background and medical checks, which the latter will cost some money too.
Due to the hassle to comply with the new regulation, many e-hailing drivers decided to stop ferrying customers − especially the part-timers as it would be difficult for them to break even with the cost of the licence.
Malaysian E-hailing Drivers Association (MeHDA) foresees that prices of e-hailing will go up by 50% as the supply would not be able to meet the demand.
“We will see fewer drivers when the deadline comes because many part-timers are opting out; plus many other drivers are still not PSV-ready.
“Passengers will have to wait longer because the distance between them and the drivers will be much further,” he told The Star.
Chong said e-hailing apps use a special algorithm to help them match supply and demand but he fears that these companies will incur a hefty surcharge on users after July 12.
“The surcharge on fares is already in practice now with a maximum cap of 100% set by APAD (Land Public Transport Agency).
“For example, a RM10 ride can go up to RM20 during peak hours. E-hailing companies give incentives to drivers during peak hours in the morning and evening to encourage them to pick up passengers.
“But higher fares would mean fewer passengers. So they will mostly keep the increase minimal, at perhaps RM15 so that passengers are not badly affected.
“If this mechanism is applied after the deadline, fares will certainly see an increase,” he said.
Chong added that this may be a “transitional occurrence” and the situation will turn better by the end of the year as more drivers take the effort to obtain the PSV licence.
He also said e-hailing companies might even absorb the price difference as they are afraid users will turn away from the service.
MyCar founder Mohd Noah Maideen said he is working around the clock to get taxi drivers registered on the platform to prepare for July 12.
After Grab, MyCar is Malaysia’s second largest e-hailing company with over 70,000 registered drivers.
Noah believed that the company can retain 50% of them after July 12, something which Grab Drivers Malaysia Association president Arif Asyraf Ali described the date as “Carmageddon”.
Staff TV also reported experts as saying that Grab will be able to retain 50% of the drivers after the PSV licence enforcement.
Noooo! Part-time e-hailing drivers, please do not quit the job.
What are your thoughts on this upcoming change? Let us know in the comments below.