THE taxi industry must be proactive and strive to be independent in order to be more competitive, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Dr Syed Hamid Jaafar Albar said.
“We (at SPAD) want to see the industry self-regulate. We should do more than just complain and work together towards improving ourselves,” Syed said, suggesting that taxi companies including Uber and Grab should work and compete harmoniously.
As of late, taxi drivers have publicly demonstrated their frustration by protesting against ride-hailing service providers Uber and Grab, which are known to provide private hire vehicles.
“The problem started in the first place because the industry was too slow. It didn’t prioritise the demands of passengers,” Syed lamented.
“Passengers should be put first. We tend to forget that we need to serve them.”
Syed added that while passengers should be prioritised, the welfare of taxi drivers too should be considered. In saying so, taxi companies should provide more welfare facilities for its drivers.
“The welfare of taxi drivers is not visible. When I spoke to these companies, they told me that they have done a lot for their employees. But if Uber and Grab drivers can earn as much as RM5,000 per month, why are regular drivers earning less?” he said.
“This needs to be looked upon seriously. Let’s not just focus on improving the quality of taxi services but also the income levels of our drivers.”