Malaysia's taxi passengers driven up the wall by excessive increase

Malaysia's taxi passengers driven up the wall by excessive increase

PETALING JAYA - Irate taxi passengers are decrying the increased fares as too high and unreasonable.

They are also upset with cabbies for not abiding by the Cabinet's call to defer the fare hike.

Media practitioner Mohd Idzham Zakaria, 45, said he was shocked to find that his usual fare had almost doubled under the new rates.

"I use the same route every day and the cab which had a calibrated meter showed it rising at an unreasonable rate.

"Usually, it would cost me about RM22 (S$8.18) to go from Petaling Jaya to my house in Subang USJ/1, but under the new rates, it can go as high as RM40," he said.

Under the increased rates announced by SPAD last Thursday, the fare for budget taxis was set at 25sen for every 200m, as compared with 10sen for each 115m previously.

That works out to an increase of about 40 sen - from just over 85sen per km to RM1.25 per km.

Although the flag-down rate for budget taxis nationwide remain at RM3, there was a revision on fares based on distance and time.

Previously, it was estimated that a taxi which stalled in a traffic jam for an hour could register a charge of up to RM17.

Under new fares, the same situation could see a passenger paying up to RM25.

Mohd Idzham said it was unfair for regular taxi users like him to be made to pay such high rates, especially when he could not take the bus or train to work.

"There are no other options for me so I am stuck with using the taxi.

"I hope they will postpone the hike and not think only of making more profits," he said.

Student N. Santhiya, 22, who tra­vels regularly from Petaling Jaya to Sunway, said the fares were excessively high and unacceptable.

"For students, if the increase is about 15 per cent, we can still cope.

"But it is now an almost 40 per cent increase.

"I have to set aside more for transport each month," she said.

An expatriate software engineer, who only wished to be identified as Meenakshi, 35, said her usual journey from Brickfields to Ampang used to cost about RM15, but now she had to pay at least RM22, a 45 per cent increase.

"It has forced me to think of an alternative method, like taking a cab from Brickfields to KL Sentral and then take the train to KLCC or Ampang Park to where I work," she said.

Meenakshi said it was disappointing that the cabbies were defying orders by the Government, adding that in the end, they would hurt their regular consumers and lose business.

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