No fare hike expected after PSV deadline, says e-hailing driver association

To date, up to 60,000 drivers have acquired the e-hailing vehicle permit and the PSV licence

by S BIRRUNTHA & LYDIA NATHAN/ pic by TMR

THE E-HAILING industry is expected to see a drastic drop of drivers this week but it would not cause a sharp fare hike as the supply of full-time drivers is still adequate to meet the demand.

Loke says no further grace period will be given as the 3-month extension was sufficient. (pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL/TMR)

The Malaysian Grab Drivers Association president Arif Asyraf Ali told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) the deadline may be good for full-time drivers as there will be less competition.

To date, Arif said up to 60,000 drivers have acquired the e-hailing vehicle permit and the public service vehicle (PSV) licence.

“What’s certain, there will be fewer drivers by the deadline but the fare will be the same because the quantity of drivers actually surpasses the demand,” he said. “I think full-time drivers will be happy because there will be more trips for them, which is a positive thing.”

Arif said there are about 50,000 Grab drivers who are still waiting for the PSV licence and they may not proceed with the application.

“Drivers are pushing to complete the process right now because if they don’t, they will not be able to pick up passengers. Even if they have registered before the deadline, I don’t know if it’s possible to get the results immediately,” he said.

“Right now, we are waiting for Oct 12 (deadline) to see the government’s future action.” Arif said e-hailing organisations (EHO) may suspend drivers’ accounts on the app if drivers have not completed all processes. If drivers are caught, both the driver and EHO could be fined up to RM10,000.

He believes that the e-hailing firms have the right to suspend drivers’ accounts due to legality and to protect its interests.

Previously, the government extended the deadline for e-hailing drivers to obtain the PSV licence to Oct 12, after thousands of drivers were reportedly failed to comply with the earlier deadline in July.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke had said no further grace period will be given as the three-month extension was sufficient.

Meanwhile, Malaysia e-Hailing Drivers Association (MeHDA) said only 60,000 are ready with their PSV licence.

MeHDA president Daryl Chong, said about 30% or 50,000 out of 167,000 drivers in the country have quit the industry due to the government’s regulations.

“From the remaining 117,000 drivers, only 60,000 are ready today. We expect to see about 80,000 fully ready by the deadline,” Chong told TMR.

On the other hand, Jomrides head of marketing Musfaizal Mustafa said he expects more than 50% of part-time drivers to quit after the deadline.

“Even now, consumers have felt that there is a lack of drivers on the road while the waiting time and fare has gone up,” he said.

Musfaizal said drivers still feel like the entire process is a burden to them. “In my point of view, I do not see drivers rushing to complete the process. We have been voicing out from the beginning for the government to provide clear and straightforward guidelines on the PSV licence registration but they have failed to do so.

“For now, we will wait for the deadline to approach and see what the numbers are looking like,” Musfaizal said.