TAXI drivers in Perak are sticking to the same fare structure despite the new rates approved by the Cabinet.
Koperasi Bandaran and Kampung Kinta Berhad secretary Choo Ching Wong said the association had increased the fares set for various destinations in Ipoh by RM1 last year.
He said so far there was no issue about taxi drivers in Ipoh charging higher rates.
“The co-op does not plan to increase the fares anytime soon because we just did a review last year,” he added.
Under the new structure announced by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), the rate for a budget taxi was set at 25sen for every 200m, compared to 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. But taxi drivers in Ipoh did not take advantage of that to charge more.
Taxi driver Raghbir Singh, 67, said he had not adopted the new rate, as most of his customers were regulars.
He said the majority of his customers were foreign workers, and he did not feel good charging them extra as they were in this country to earn a living.
“I have not increased the fares over the last four years, but once the Goods and Services Tax is implemented, I may increase what I charge by RM1.
“The reason I may have to increase the price is because the insurance cost is expected to increase as well,” said Raghbir, who has been driving a taxi for the past 20 years.
Another taxi driver, Ahmad Masri, 54, said so far he had no plans to increase the fare.
“I have checked with a few friends, and they too are not planning to hike the fare.
“I have many regular customers, and I don’t feel good charging them extra, as they are not earning high salaries,” said Ahmad.
Marketing executive Sally Teh, 25, said would take a taxi to work if she decided to leave her car behind.
“I work in the city and stay in Bercham. My regular taxi driver normally charges me RM12.
“Although the fare for that distance is usually RM10, I don’t mind paying him extra because he is reliable and trustworthy.
“Whenever I need to take a cab I know he will come right on time, and I need not worry about my safety or arriving late at my destination,” said Teh.