Transport Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong has demanded an explanation from ehailing service providers after the ministry received several complaints of the increasingly expensive fares.
According to Bernama, fares were reported to have shot up as high as 400% during peak hours, sparking discontent from consumers and calling for government intervention.
“An increase from RM20 to RM70 in the current situation is seen as burdensome to the people, so I think as a policymaker, we will see if any party is taking advantage to make a profit.”
“I’ve also asked the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) to review, ask the companies to explain what really happened. In a day or two, I expect them to give an explanation so that we can see in terms of what we should do and whether to encourage more competition.” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Wee said his ministry will not compromise with any company found trying to take advantage by increasing fares or companies seeking to manipulate ehailing fares to make a profit.
According to APAD, factors such as the working environment of drivers, passengers, service providers, and others must be taken into account to ensure balanced supply and demand.
The agency added that the concept of ehailing service involves mutual agreement between users and service providers for travel bookings through an application that displays the fare amount, and users have the option to choose to continue with the booking or not.
There are currently 32 registered ehailing platforms in the country, including AirAsia Ride, EZCab, Grab, MULA, Pick n Go, Kumpool, and InDriver.
Over the last 2 weeks, The Sun Daily reported that the number of taxi passengers has increased by 40% as people are looking for other more affordable alternatives.
Combined Taxi Across Malaysia president Kamarudin Mohd Hussain said ehailing fares can be raised because the government has not introduced controlled fares as it has for taxis. He added that some companies had took advantage of peak hours on the grounds of high demand.
Meanwhile, taxi fares are fixed with a starting fare of RM3 and passengers are charged an additional RM0.10 for every 115m distance travelled.
Similarly, food delivery services have been experiencing a price hike recently and customers having to wait longer for deliveries. This is due to riders leaving the delivery platform to return to their previous fields as economic sectors have reopened.