KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Despite being able to earn higher fares during peak traffic hours, some Grab drivers have been turning off their e-hailing app because the incentives are no longer attractive, according to the Grab Drivers Malaysia Association (GDMA).
GDMA president Arif Asyraf Ali told The Malaysian Insight (TMI) that 30 to 40 per cent of its drivers will choose not to respond to requests from potential passengers as they can get caught in road traffic lasting more than an hour.
"The traffic jam is massive, even in the afternoon, and it is getting worse each day,” he was quoted as saying in a report published today.
Commuters relying on public transport, especially those in urban areas like the Klang Valley and Penang, have been complaining about the difficulty in getting e-hailing rides or the high fares charged in recent weeks.
TMI reported heavy traffic as one of the factors pushing the price of fares up.
Coupled with high demand and low supply of drivers, this results in a cycle of complaints.
"Because there are fewer drivers, the active ones have to drive further to pick up passengers, using more fuel and getting stuck in traffic,” Arif told TMI.
He also claimed that the shortage of drivers was about nearly 30 per cent as the range of active drivers has dropped from around 70,000-80,000 to about 50,000-60,000.
Passengers have alleged that the price surge can be up to 400 per cent in some cases, reported TMI.
Federal police have observed an increase in vehicle traffic on the road in the past few days.
The Star today reported over 10 million vehicles on the road in two days last week, attributing it to the start of the school holidays and the long weekend marking Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s official birthday today.
At least 5.3 million were recorded on major highways on Friday while there were at least 5.6 million on Saturday, Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department principal assistant director (enforcement) Superintendant Bakri Zainal Abidin told the newspaper.
Former transport minister Anthony Loke urged Putrajaya to address worsening traffic woes, particularly in city centres.
He claimed that traffic had worsened compared to pre-pandemic times and that public transportation services were also inefficient.
DAP deputy secretary-general Liew Chin Tong also recently commented on Klang Valley congestion, saying that the government needs to support public transport in order to provoke a shift from private vehicles to public transport.