LAST_UPDATESun, 22 Jul 2018 3pm

Former Taxi Driver Shares Why He Switched From Taxi To GrabCar

Since the emergence of e-hailing services such as GrabCar and Uber, taxi drivers found themselves in a major quandary as taxi drivers are slowly losing customers to the ever growing popular service providers.

In fact, Harian Metro reported that Abdul Khalil Ali, jumped the bandwagon as he believes that the career switch will generate more income, especially taking into account of the expensive permit and difficulties in obtaining customers during his time as a regular taxi driver.

“Ever since I joined GrabCar, I’m earned more than RM5,000 on a monthly basis,” the 54-year-old shared with the Malay daily and relayed that he no longer experiences financial stress.

“For the past 10 years that I’ve worked as a taxi driver, my income was just enough for sustenance – but now, I’m able to do some personal saving whilst support my children’s school tuition.”

The father of seven underlined that it became evident that he can no longer depend on the income generated via his prior career as taxi drivers saw a shocking decrease of 80% in customers due to the competition projected by both GrabCar and Uber.

“Seeing how the cost of living has increased, my new job as a GrabCar driver allows me to earn additional income and Alhamdulillah, blessed me to support my family and children’s schooling,” he relayed to Harian Metro.

Be that as it may, Abdul Khalil pointed out that the unstable economy demands him to work extra hours as a means to put food on the table for the family, as he revealed that he drives between 16 to 23 hours on a daily basis – whilst waiting for customers to book their e-hailing ride via the provided application.

“I’ve once drove from Shah Alam to Pulau Pinang on a customers’ request,” the president of the Shah Alam Section 13 Taxi Drivers and Car Rental Association recalled.

“For the sake of putting food on the table, I agree to the customers’ request – despite the long driving distance.”

According to Abdul Khalil, taxi drivers have the opportunity to make the career switch to GrabCar by registering via their official website or walk in to the GrabCar main office in Petaling Jaya at any time as their office hours are flexible.

“The taxi association does not object any of its members to look for additional income, provided that they pay for their permit that costs between RM45 and RM55 on a daily basis.

“As a matter of fact, GrabCar encourages for taxi drivers to join their company as they provide several attractive incentives that will help employees to generate higher income,” he shared.

While plentiful of applications have surfaced to help improve the taxi business, such as 2Go, MyTeksi, PICKnGO and EASY Taxi, Abdul Khalil lamented that it is still having difficulties to attract customers due to its poor marketing.

“But taxi drivers ought to change their attitude too and not just whine when income is low,” he advised.

“Taxi drivers should be disciplined and adhere to the customers’ need and subsequently portraying a positive image for the transportation industry.

“Additionally, Abdul Khalil suggests to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to introduce a merit system for taxi drivers that to not comply with the stipulated regulations, such as not using a metre and taking advantage of customers.”

On that note, Malaysian Digest spoke with Siti Aisyah who relayed that she has had multiple experiences whereby taxi drivers purposely took a longer route rather than the ones she insisted.

"It wasn't to avoid traffic or whatever, but they intentionally took a longer route to generate more mileage," she opined.

"I understand that you need to earn a living, but it is not okay to cheat or lie to your customers like that."

Nur Qarinna on the other hand stated that while taxis are convenient in the sense that she can just hail them by the roadside, she conveyed that some taxi drivers are desperate that they would walk up to her and offer a ride.

"Even if it was my intention to take a cab home, but when taxi drivers do that, it automatically turns me off because that's just not polite," she stated.

"You don't walk up to a girl, stand in immensely close proximity and offer a ride home."

But such experiences are not only limited to the women as Irman Azfar recounted how a taxi driver not only cheated him of his money, by turning his metre off, but a taxi driver decided to offer his services to a female customer that arrived after him instead.

"It was broad daylight, what excuse did he have for turning me down and offered the girl a ride in his cab?," he asked.

"It's so upsetting because I have friends whose fathers work as taxi drivers and they have integrity, discipline and respect.

"But sadly there are those tarnishing the profession with their attitude and lack of morality."

- Malaysian Digest