KUALA LUMPUR: E-hailing service providers have warned of ‘chaos’ if some 200,000 of their drivers are unable to meet the July deadline to obtain their Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence.
They said fares would skyrocket, especially during peak hours, as there would be fewer drivers on the road to meet the ever-growing demand for e-hailing services.
“The e-hailing drivers are the ones who make the system work. If there are fewer of them on the road due to failure to get the PSV licence before the deadline, then the fares will surely go up.
“During peak hours, there won’t be enough drivers available and the waiting time will also be much longer.
“Our users will be angry for sure,” said Mohd Faizul Ezmin, a representative from e-hailing company Decentralised Alternative Cabs Serving and Empowering Everyone (Dacsee).
Faizul, the former Grab Drivers Malaysia Association secretary-general, said the government must consider extending the July 12 deadline as the module for getting the PSV licence was only made available this week.
“There are about 200,000 e-hailing drivers nationwide. Do you think all of them can obtain the PSV licence by July?
“On top of that, there are not even enough trainers to begin training the drivers with the new module,” Faizul said.
On Wednesday, RTD director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Khalid told the New Straits Times that there were 30 to 35 registered e-hailing companies in Malaysia, four of which had been authorised to manage their own PSV training facilities.
Dacsee and Grab were among the four companies.
Shaharuddin said as of April 1, the PSV module for e-hailing drivers would be made available at any of the approved 211 driving academies and e-hailing centres nationwide.
However, Faizul said things only became much clearer after representatives from the company attended a meeting with the RTD on Wednesday.
Dacsee, he said, was now in the process of sending their driving trainers to RTD to be certified as PSV trainers.
A representative from another e-hailing provider also questioned the availability and outreach of the module.
“The (transport) minister keeps talking about the need for e-hailing drivers to get their PSV licence by July. He has been saying this since the first week of January.
“However, the RTD only launched the module on April 1. The process to apply for the PSV licence is also unclear.
“E-hailing companies and drivers now have only three months to sort everything out. This must be a real joke. I urge them to extend the deadline.”
Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced a number of new rules regulating e-hailing drivers in July last year.
This included requiring them to get PSV licences and sending their cars for annual vehicle inspection at the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre (Puspakom).
Drivers would also have to pass criminal background and medical checks.
Cars used for e-hailing will also need to have a minimum three-star Asean NCAP rating (most local cars have four stars and above), and cars over three years old must be inspected at Puspakom for RM55.