Reports by JOSEPH KAOS Jr, ALLISON LAI, CLARISSA CHUNG, NATASHA JOIBI and ILI AQILAH
PETALING JAYA: E-hailing passengers experienced longer waiting time for their rides early yesterday as the new rules for the service were supposed to take effect yesterday.
Several passengers contacted by The Star said they had to wait up to 30 minutes but did not experience a dramatic hike in ride fares.
Grace Lai described waiting for her e-hailing ride as “mighty painful” as she had to wait for 30 minutes for her driver yesterday.
“Normally I’d be able to get a Grab driver within 10 minutes. What is more, I’m a platinum member,” said the finance executive.
However, she admitted that she did not experience a dramatic hike in the ride fares.
Print coordinator Shima Ashari, 35, said she had to wait for half an hour to get a ride to her office.
“I had to try four times to find a driver nearby. The fare was also more expensive,” she said, adding that she paid RM11 for the 3km journey, compared to the usual fare of between RM6 and RM8.
Shima, who used the e-hailing service everyday, said that the situation made it hard for her to commute.
“I hope this won’t last long, as I rely heavily on e-hailing service to travel,” she added.
Karen Yong said that her e-hailing ride requests took longer to go through and the fares were more expensive now.
“It took slightly longer for drivers to pick up my request. Normally they would pick up within three to five minutes. Now it took me eight minutes.
“To get to this particular destination, I usually would have paid RM20 in the past but now it is RM25,” said the homemaker.
She said, however, that e-hailing was still a more viable alternative for her than to hail a taxi.
“My e-hailing driver said so far there have been no complaints. I believe it’s true, because it is hard to hail a taxi where I live,” she said.
Y.G. Chee noted that while the fare is slightly higher than usual, the waiting time is more or less the same.
“I was expecting that I might have to wait another 15 or 20 minutes than my usual time, but it was just six minutes.
“The fare is slightly expensive, but I didn’t see a huge jump,” said the 32-year-old executive.
In Ipoh, project manager Shahrul Izwan Azmi, 34, said it was harder for him to get a ride.
“Previously, I only needed to wait for five minutes but it has gotten longer for the past one to two weeks.
“Some drivers told me that they are planning to quit due to the new regulation by the government,” he said, adding that he uses e-hailing services almost daily to work.
Managing director Mohd Zawawi Abdul Jalil meanwhile said he had to pay double for a ride.
“I used to pay about RM12 during peak hours. I am being charged about RM24 now.
“I don’t think I am willing to pay that amount regularly,” he said.