'Low e-hailing fares make passengers happy but pushing drivers out'

KUALA LUMPUR: Up to 10 e-hailing drivers are quitting the industry everyday due to the price war between companies providing the service.

Grab Drivers Association president Arif Asyraf Ali said although the price war promised benefits for passengers, it is actually causing drivers to bear the brunt of low fares.

Arif said the existing fare structure has failed to adequately compensate drivers for their efforts, rendering the gig service unsustainable.

"With the current fare rate, drivers will suffer from fatigue as they have to work overtime if they want to earn more.

"But that still doesn't justify working long hours because if the driver spends more time behind the wheel, the cost of petrol and maintenance will go up," he told the New Straits Times.

The dire situation has prompted many drivers to rethink joining the e-hailing industry, with some opting to give up due to the inability to cover basic expenses.

"Since the sales and services tax has risen to eight per cent, insurance costs have also increased. The price of food is also more expensive. So it is not justified for a driver to get a low fare and struggle to pay for costs that he can't even cover."

Arif expressed deep reservations about the industry's current state of affairs. He highlighted the inconsistency and uncompetitive pricing prevalent in the e-hailing sector.

Comparing Grab with other competitors like InDrive, Arif said there was potential for drivers to earn a higher income through InDrive as it allowed flexible pricing.

"Unlike Grab's fixed fare system, InDrive's offers drivers the opportunity to negotiate fares based on factors like distance, time and demand, thereby enabling the drivers to earn more.

"With drivers facing mounting challenges and an uncertain future, the e-hailing industry is standing at a crossroads, prompting calls for regulatory intervention to ensure fair compensation and sustainable working conditions for all involved.

"As the price war rages on, the plight of drivers serves as a strong reminder of the human cost behind the convenience enjoyed by passengers," he said

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