In a milestone for the Malaysian ride-hailing scene, Uber’s local operations will team up with some 500 taxis under the Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (Gabungan), an umbrella body of taxi associations and companies in Peninsular Malaysia.
The move will see the taxis adopt the Uber ride-hailing app in stages beginning March 7, Bernama reported. The state newswire also quoted Big Blue Taxi Sdn Bhd CEO, Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail, as saying the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had approved Uber Malaysia’s operations.
It is good news for commuters. More Uber ride-hailing vehicles on the roads mean better geographical coverage that adds convenience.
While Bernama did not report on the mechanics of the ride-hailing app adoption, Uber’s competitor Grab offers an example — users are prompted to select the preferred mode of transport when using the Grab app.
The collaboration is a lifeline for the local taxi industry, which had struggled with declining ridership amidst growing popularity of ride-hailing services like Uber and Grab. By adopting the app, taxis now have a platform to reinvent themselves as an on-demand ride-hailing service provider.
For Uber Malaysia, the union with taxi drivers to some extent helps alleviate its issues with Uber driver reliability as the taxi drivers are ferrying passengers full-time.
According to Bernama, both Uber Malaysia and Gabungan are set to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today for the partnership.