High Fares Are Caused by Driver Scarcity and High Demand, Says Transport Minister

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Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong

After urging e-hailing firms to provide an explanation over sudden fare hike, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong says in a statement today that the problem is happening due to a shortage of drivers.

The minister met with the Transport Ministry, the Land Public Transportation Agency (APAD), and the e-hailing provider engaged in the scandal to address the situation.

“From the discussion, it is clear that there are two main factors that have led to this surge in e-hailing fares; a supply-and-demand imbalance and high traffic volume leading to longer travel times,” said Dr Wee.

Dr. Wee went on to say that there are currently 130,000 drivers with a vocational licence.

This figure seems to be growing as driving schools notice an increase in applicants interested in becoming e-hailing drivers.

The e-hailing company described the problem concisely and sought additional drivers to combat the existing scarcity.

“Meanwhile some E-hailing companies have seen their number of registered drivers drop by over 30% compared to pre-pandemic times,” he added.

Dr Wee remarked that this has resulted in longer than planned wait times and an increase in the cost of travelling.

“The same period also saw a lot more economic activities compared to the height of the pandemic. Daily life seems to have returned to some normalcy and, expectedly, more traffic congestion as Malaysians move about more freely,”

Wee explained that e-hailing rates include two components: the basic fare and the premium.

Surcharges were limited to double the base price, although Putrajaya seemed to not have the same regulation.

Dr. Wee also stated that the government encourages all operators to strengthen their communication with fellow consumers.

“We will continue to monitor the e-hailing industry to ensure fairness and prevent undue burden on consumers,” he concluded.

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