Gabungan, an association representing Malaysian taxi companies, has today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ride-hailing giant Uber to launch UberTaxi in Peninsular Malaysia.
Around 500 Gabungan drivers who conform with Uber’s driver and vehicle requirements will start using the Uber platform. Fare pricing will be based on the company’s UberX budget-end service and will include dynamic fares, in common with UberTaxi programs that the US company has trialled in Indonesia and Myanmar, among other places. Participating taxi drivers will still be able to accept street-side flag-downs when not using Uber.
“This way, they can potentially earn more money by spending more time earning ride fares, instead of spending time idling and waiting for rides,” said Gabungan president Shalahuddin SM Amin in the press release.
Previously, Uber users in Malaysia could only hail private cars – as has initially been the case in most territories where the app has launched. The competition this model has introduced into these markets has often resulted in a pushback from licensed taxi industries locally – including in Malaysia – and Uber has been the subject of regulatory restrictions in several countries as a result.
Nevertheless, Malaysian authorities have been seeking ways to legalize ridehailing services. Gabungan launched its own app called Oride, while Uber’s Singapore-based mega-rival Grab has offered ridehailing for licensed taxis in Malaysia for some time now.
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