Malaysian cabbies have a new plan to counter the growing popularity of ride-sharing apps like Uber and GrabCar. Called MesraCab, the app is set to be launched in February of next year. Few details are being shared by the people behind the app, although it will apparently tack on an RM2 charge for hailing a taxi.
The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Application Taxi Drivers Association (Pertapps) is responsible for pushing the development of the app, and has been working to get cabbies to register for the programme. This is the latest taxi driver association to surface in recent months, after PERS1M and PETEKMA began protesting against ride-sharing apps four months ago. There does not appear to be any link – or communication for that matter – between the various organisations.
Pertapps secretary Apriman Darlis told The Star newspaper that, the app only uses metered taxis which have been approved by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD). The comments were made after some 100 taxi drivers turned up in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara to register as drivers for MesraCab. Drivers who appeared at the event were told to register with one of the 23 associations; supposedly for the committee to better regulate the industry.
As for the app itself, little was said beyond the addition of the booking fee that will be paid directly to the taxi driver. MesraCab will also go a step further than other ride-sharing apps and allow users to select specific driver after viewing available taxis on the map.
No mention was made of the existing MyTeksi app that already allows users to call for taxis through their phones. Many taxi drivers are already using the service, although it is likely that the connection between MyTeksi and GrabCar has soured relations with the cabbies.
[Source: The Star]