E-hailing might kill taxi industry, cab firm owner claims

Big Blue Taxi Services founder and advisor Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail having a press confence on the 'e-hailing' proposal at his office, May 4, 2016. ― Picture by Kamles Kumar
Big Blue Taxi Services founder and advisor Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail having a press confence on the 'e-hailing' proposal at his office, May 4, 2016. ― Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 ― Putrajaya’s proposed “e-hailing” system that will legalise ride-sharing services and consolidate these with taxis could destroy the cab industry, claimed one such operator.

Big Blue Taxi Services founder and advisor Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) proposed reform could eliminate any incentives for taxi drivers to remain with taxi firms and encourage them to join Uber and GrabCar instead.

“If the e-hailing proposals is not implemented of strategised well, it will cause the taxi industry to close shop,” he told reporters in a press conference today at his office.

Shamsubahrin alleged that the proposal would allow existing cabbies to operate their own cars rather than rent taxis from firms such as his.

“I don't want taxi drivers to be surrendering car back to company end of the year when this proposal is made. Companies that own taxis will collapse when the drivers surrender the cabs.

“Car owners, permit owners and associations must be prepared that drivers are going to surrender the cars back to us,” he added.

He said he was not against the proposal, but insisted that its implementation must include concessions to firms that have invested in the industry.

He suggested both Uber and GrabCar be shut down and replaced with a new entity encompassing all hire cars, if the proposal is implemented.

Shamsubahrin, whose company owns over 50 taxis, also claimed four in taxi drivers have already given up their cars.

Local daily, The Sun reported on Monday that Putrajaya is mulling to legalise Uber and Grab under the “e-hailing” model to revamp the taxi industry.

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