It seems like with everything that does not go one’s way, a protest is what they would ultimately resort to, without actually getting to the root of the problem. Whilst a protest may help to create hype on the issue, it most certainly will not be able to provide the actual solution for the problem.
Hence, with the recent protests by taxi drivers in front of the SPAD (Land Public Transport Commission) headquarters itself, against Uber and GrabCar, all that would result of this would be the coverage of news, yet they are nowhere near to a cure for the situation.
Not only were there protests, these cabbies also went one step ahead by staging a situation where they are able to nab a GrabCar driver in order for the driver to be arrested by SPAD.
In that incident that happened recently, the driver, Suhaimi Abdul Manaf, did not suspect the call and when he arrived at the SPAD headquarters, he was met by taxi drivers who stopped him from leaving the scene.
In regards to these recent actions by taxi drivers, spokesperson for SPAD shared with New Straits Times that, “Not only their action is against the law, but they also have just created a negative perception to public with their gangster-like attitude.”
“We don’t encourage taxi drivers to take matters to their own hands as they don’t have a legal right to do so. Each action taken must be according to the law and everyone must respect the law,” added the SPAD rep.
Getting To The Root
The whole hoopla surrounding taxi drivers versus ride-sharing services like Uber and Grabcar needs to come to an end because mere protests and vandalism will only create a negativity surrounding taxi drivers and this will in turn lead them to garner less customers, as the public will certainly tend to be more cautious and wary whenever they are using these taxi services.
“Taxi drivers must find ways to improve their services such as providing a comfortable ride, be friendly and use a fare meter,” the SPAD rep said to New Straits Times. In fact, improving on taxi services will be the only way that this public transportation can be able to one-up app-based ride-sharing services.
A Facebook user recently commented in her status update the reasons she would utilise a ride-sharing service over a regular cab, and it boils down to trust over the suggested fare.
She said that her ride from KLIA2 to Seremban costed her RM234 for a one-way trip. On the meter of the regular cab, she claimed that it was written as RM80 with an increase for midnight charges of 50%, and the total fare for her trip was supposed to be RM120. However, she wound up paying RM234 instead.
“They cheated the foreign worker rider. Call up the number shown, but the number is not available at all” shared the Facebook user.
Hence, besides service, a set way to charge customers for their taxi fare needs to be implemented and most importantly, followed through as well. The spokesperson of SPAD also added, “Taxi drivers must understand that it is they who opened up the opportunity for alternative ride services to rise because of their poor services to passengers.”
In any industry, there is always competition and with startups being more innovative, the competition will get tougher. Understanding what the consumers need and want should be the driving force, not eliminating the competition with dirty and manipulative tricks.
After all, everybody is looking to make a living out of the same means of the rice bowl, and instead of bringing one party down, one should look inward to improve on whatever they are able to, so that they are able to gain a consumers’ trust and maintain a healthy relationship with their users over the long run.