Malaysia's cabbies to roll out new app

The new app will use metered taxis approved by the authorities.
The new app will use metered taxis approved by the authorities. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA • Malaysia's taxi drivers are introducing their own taxi app soon, as they fight to regain customers lost to Uber and GrabTaxi.

The new app is called MesraCab (FriendlyCab in Malay) and can be used in the Greater Kuala Lumpur or Klang Valley area - a wide swathe of districts that surround Kuala Lumpur.

"This app uses 100 per cent metered taxis which have been approved by the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad)," Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Application Taxi Drivers Association secretary Apriman Darlis told The Star.

He said this after speaking to more than 100 taxi drivers in Selangor who showed up to register as the app's drivers.

Some taxi drivers in KL have assaulted drivers of private cars that used Uber or GrabTaxi to pick up passengers, saying these are unlicensed drivers who do not use meters.

The licensed taxi drivers have threatened to hold a street demonstration this month, saying Spad and government officials have been helpless in resolving their problem with private vehicles using taxi app Uber and its Malaysian version called GrabTaxi.

Mr Apriman said MesraCab will give potential customers the power to choose the taxis they want to travel in after seeing them on a map.

MesraCab will charge a RM2 (66 Singapore cents) booking fee for a successful hail.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2015, with the headline 'Malaysia's cabbies to roll out new app'. Print Edition | Subscribe