KUALA LUMPUR: Taxi booking service provider MyTeksi Sdn Bhd wants regulators to impose a more “level playing field” to compete with vehicle-for-hire service Uber.
General manager Adelene Foo said MyTeksi welcomed healthy competition to improve the industry but wanted it “in a fairer manner”.
“We welcome competitors but on the same level playing field,” she said at a press conference to announce a US$90mil (RM342mil) funding for the company yesterday.
The Uber service, which is available in 222 cities in 45 countries, came to Malaysia in January this year.
However, it ran into controversy over its service with the Land and Public Transport Commission (SPAD) threatening action against it at one point.
SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, in a recent interview with The Star, said the cars dispatched by Uber were merely “honourable teksi sapu” operating without the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence.
He said it was not an issue of Uber’s service but whether the vehicles are authorised to function as taxis.
Foo claimed the MyTeksi mobile app, which has recorded over 2.1 million downloads with 400,000 active monthly users, intends to reinvest into improving the welfare of taxi drivers in Malaysia while expanding its regional operations.
MyTeksi, set up in the country in June 2012, now operates in 16 cities across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Foo said among the company’s plans were educational and social programmes for taxi drivers and their families, including refurbishing their taxis.
She claimed MyTeksi accounted for one out of two taxis in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area, which ment that about 20,000 taxi drivers were using the app.
She added that the service had increased the income of taxi drivers by 30% to 300%.
Foo said the company was currently working with the police on crime prevention programmes and also talking with tourism authorities on improving the nation’s taxi service.