Only 10 per cent of Grab Malaysia’s active drivers have obtained their public service vehicle (PSV) licence ahead of the July 12 deadline. - NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 10 per cent of Grab Malaysia’s active drivers have obtained their public service vehicle (PSV) licence ahead of the July 12 deadline.

The e-hailing provider in a statement said this was despite efforts to support their drivers to obtain the licence.

They said this would affect waiting time for consumers as there would be fewer Grab drivers meeting an increasing demand for the ride-hailing service.

“Each day, our active drivers in full force serve one million ride bookings. On average, a passenger can get his or her ride within six minutes.

“Unfortunately, this may change post-July 12.

“Consumers will feel the pinch of longer waiting times, especially during peak hours and rainy days,” it said.

The company also said that with the possibility of fewer drivers on the road, consumers may experience an increase in dynamic fares.

Grab has more than 200,000 drivers across the country.

“Many are currently either awaiting eagerly for examination results in order to obtain the licence, or are awaiting their opportunity to go through the examinations.

“We have heard from some of them, especially the part-timers, that they are reconsidering whether to continue driving,” the company said.

It added that some concerns their drivers faced included finding the time to complete the process, and difficulty in navigating through the application process across various authorities.

“Grab has been and will continue to work closely with the Transport Ministry, Road Transport Department, Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) and Puspakom Sdn Bhd to help as many drivers as possible across the finishing line by July 12, including co-organising mass examinations.”

Transport Minister Anthony Loke had said that the PSV was part of the government’s move to regulate the e-hailing industry and create a level playing field with taxis.

The PSV, which costs RM115 per year, is a type of vocational driving licence for drivers of any type of commercial vehicle used for paying passengers such as taxis and buses.

E-hailing drivers who undergo PSV in the first half of this year are subjected to background screenings, medical checkups, and undergo a special six-hour driving training module, costing RM200 per person, at driving schools or companies accredited by Apad.

Meanwhile, in a message to customers, Grab acknowledged that the new regulations could mean fewer drivers on the road and increased waiting times.

“We understand that this might be frustrating, and we suggest pre-planning your travels during this period,” it said.

The company suggested that customers book their rides earlier and be ready when the driver arrived; and, book rides outside of peak hours (7am-9am and 5pm-8pm).

“We hope this situation will be temporary, and will continue to keep you updated. You may experience some inconvenience at first, but these changes are to ensure consistent quality across the e-hailing industry in the long run.”