GEORGE TOWN: A taxi drivers’ group here has rejected an offer by a ride-hailing company to join it to earn more, saying it is “destroying” their livelihood.

Gabungan Persatuan Pemandu Teksi dan Pemandu Kereta Sewa secretary Suhaimi Hadzri said taxi drivers here would never support Uber or Grab, as long they charge lower fares than metered taxis.

Yesterday, Grab Malaysia head Sean Goh asked the group to join JustGrab, where regular cabbies could get assignments like GrabCar rides. However, the taxi drivers would receive fares similar to Grab rides, not metered fares.

“There will be no compromise. We will never support Uber or Grab. They are destroying taxi companies.

“If they want us to join, Uber and Grab must raise their rates as high as taxi rides. Then we might consider. It will be a level playing field then,” Suhaimi said when contacted today.

Suhaimi also said Penang taxi drivers had given their “ideal fare rate” to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), but to no avail.

He said the proposed rate for Penang Island was RM10 for the first 3km, and RM1.50 for every subsequent kilometre after.

Suhaimi said given the short roads on the island, such fares would be ideal.

The SPAD-regulated fare for budget taxis in Penang is RM4 for the first kilometre or the first three minutes of the ride. For the next 200 metres or 36 seconds, there will be a charge of 30sen.

For Teksi1Malaysia (TEKS1M) rides in the state, the first km or first three minutes will be charged RM4, with a subsequent 35sen for every 200m or 36sec after.

A typical ride in a budget taxi in Penang will cost an average RM10 for a 5km ride and RM17.50 for a 10km ride.

The ride in TEKS1M will be higher at RM11 (5km) and RM19.80 (10km).

Suhaimi said when Grab introduced a platform called MyTeksi (now GrabTaxi), cabbies were very happy as it elevated their service by making taxi bookings easier.

“But when they launched Grabcar, we were very upset as the price difference would definitely kill us. So we will continue to boycott these ride-hailing services, either Uber or Grab,” he said.-FMT NEWS-

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