SEPANG, Dec 15 ― cALLme, a new e-hailing application for taxis and limousine drivers aiming to give big players like Grab a run for its money, was officially launched at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here this morning.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who officiated the launch, said the application will make taxi and limousine operators more competitive in a rapidly changing industry now dominated by Grab and other upcoming but smaller e-hailing players.
“This is a chance for all players to enhance the industry,” Loke said.
“I am proud because the app proves they are ready to face the fourth industrial revolution,” he added.
cALLme was developed by the National Co-operative Force Bhd (Angkasa) together with Petekma, the group representing taxi and limousine operators.
Both Petekma president Mohd Syahrir Abd Aziz and his Angkasa counterpart, Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah, were there for the launch.
For now, cALLme services will be limited to taxis and limousines serving KLIA and KLIA2 but Syahrir said they plan to extend the coverage to all the major cities, the most immediate being the popular tourist destination of Langkawi, Kedah.
“It's in the works,” the Petekma president told reporters after the launch.
Loke recently came under heavy criticism by taxi and limousine drivers who felt the new Pakatan Harapan government has done little to improve their livelihoods.
Drivers claim their incomes have been negatively affected by Grab, and the stringent rules imposed on the industry have placed them at a disadvantage against the frim that, up until this year, had not been regulated.
There are 70,000 registered taxi drivers today, the majority of whom rent from operators.
Loke said today his ministry is striving to find a balance between safeguarding drivers welfare and facilitating healthy competition.
“The ministry is always working towards creating a competitive environment that can help drive the transport industry forward,” he said.
“The point is to even the playing field among taxi drivers so they can compete.”