E-hailing drivers get a temporary reprieve and can breathe a sigh of relief. The Minister of Transport Anthony Loke announced in Putrajaya today that the ministry is postponing the implementation of new e-hailing regulations for another three months.
The minister said, the “soft landing” approach will give sufficient time to drivers for education and training, and facilitate the application process for the vocational Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license.
As reported by Astro AWANI earlier today, the government has been urged to extend the deadline by another 30 days from the original kick-off date, which is today, 12 July 2019.
Although regulations were mandated last year, the application process for the PSV licenses only kickstarted in April. e-hailing operators (EHOs) have been scrambling to get the estimated 200,000 driver-partners licensed. To date, only 10 percent have obtained PSV licenses and this was anticipated to greatly impact passengers, EHOs and businesses.
It was earlier reported that unlicensed drivers will be locked out of e-hailing operator systems and therefore will not be able to accept any ride bookings.
With the reduction of active drivers on the road, it would mean longer wait times for passengers especially during peak hours and rainy days. Many speculated that ride fares would increase due to demand.
The transport minister said on Tuesday that his ministry will not extend the deadline for PSV licensing. It looks like it is a U-turn of sorts, although temporary. He also said that the government has no plans to regulate fares of e-hailing rides to allow for an open market and competition.