AN APP for taxis and limos, the first in the country to have a passenger safety feature, is set to be launched in August.
The app 2GO provides customers a cashless payment system, approved fare structure, simple claim process for those who use taxi to go to their workplace and back.
Discounts will also be given to those who opt for ride-sharing.
Cab Auto Bus Sdn Bhd (CAB) executive chairman Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim said 2GO was a new initiative to revolutionise the legal taxi/ limo industry in Malaysia by partnering with legal taxi and limo drivers through various associations to bring about a radical change in transportation quality, service levels and user experiences.
Tengku Hasmadi said this during a signing ceremony yesterday in Subang Jaya between CAB and Klang Valley taxi associations.
The aim was to build win-win business partnerships with legal taxi drivers to secure their future and to provide maximum comfort, convenience, safety and security to clients.
The first phase will see about 5,000 taxis in Klang Valley; three months later in the second phase it will be expanded to Penang and Johor Baru; while the final phase will include Ipoh, Seremban, Kuantan, Malacca, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. There are also plans to expand the app to other parts of Asia.
“In July we will carry out some tests before 2GO is launched in August.
“Unlike other taxi apps that are launched before getting the drivers, in our case the taxi drivers are with us from the very beginning, in fact they own 10% equity in the company.
“We will also be building innovative incentives and loyalty programmes into the 2GO system to maximise engagement for all parties,” he said, adding that CAB was currently in the process of obtaining approval from the Land Public Transport Commission and Road Transport Department.
“We have signed a joint venture with an advertising company to install a 22.86 cm (nine inch) tablet in taxis; it will be a shared revenue. Taxi drivers will possibly have to pay a deposit to ensure that they have the responsibility to take care of the tablet.
“As for the safety feature, if the passenger screams, as long as the pitch is high, the tablet will snap a photo and immediately send it to our call centre to analyse if it is a call for help and if we need to contact the police. The app will also have information about the driver and passenger,’’ said Tengku Hashim.
“The app also allows you to send details of your ride to your loved one, so they can know your whereabouts and was the taxi driver.”
An administration fee of 50 sen would be paid to CAB for every ride, regardless of the length of the journey.
Malaysian Taxi Drivers’ Transformation Association (Pers1m) deputy chairman Kamaruddin Mohd Hussain lauded the app as it had features catering to the needs of customers.
“This app that can improve the quality of taxis and customers can enjoy better services and discounts.
“All these while, we have been ready to follow the government’s call to improve services but we were unable to, due to some factors. For example, I do not deny that some taxi drivers do not use the meter but there are also some passengers, such as tourists, who insist on not having the meter on. Hence with this app, it can solve fare problems,” he said.
Asked if 2GO posed a competition to current ride-sharing apps in the market, he said: “The current apps for teksi sapu (illegal taxis) are illegal hence it is not a competition for 2GO. The Government should help CAB to further expand and this can indirectly eliminate illegal taxis.”
Also at the ceremony were AmBank Group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir, Malaysia Tourism Board chairman Wee Choo Keong, and Selangor state executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim.
Wee said taxi drivers were frontline ambassadors as they were among the first people a tourist saw on arriving in Malaysia.
“Last year, a news portal in UK reported that Malaysian taxi drivers are dirty, untidy and not polite. This not just affects taxi drivers but the image of the country as well.
“Please work closely with CAB and your taxi associations to ensure that together we will be able to offer greater service, a better image and a safer and comfortable environment to the public and our guests,” he said.
Teng said it was time for the image of the taxi industry in Malaysia to improve.
“In some countries, people take taxis not just to get from one place to another but for the service; thus our taxis should be clean and tidy all the time,” he said.