KUALA LUMPUR: Though the time frame for e-hailing drivers to obtain the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence has been extended for another three months from Friday, some e-hailing passengers in Klang Valley are lamenting that e-hailing fares have surged and they have to wait longer for a ride.

Some of the passengers, when contacted by Bernama today, claimed that the fares had increased by as much as RM10 and that they were experiencing a longer waiting time with multiple tries to get a driver.

Previously, several e-hailing companies had raised concerns on the possibility of passengers paying higher rates and with longer wait times, following the PSV deadline on Friday, as many drivers without the PSV licence will no longer be on the road.

However, on the same day, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced the deadline would be extended by another three months.

Aishah Abdul Rahim, who uses e-hailing services daily, said her Grab fare had increased by RM10 for a ride from her house at Kampung Datuk Keramat to her workplace in Jalan Tun Razak.

“The distance from my house to the office is only about five kilometers and would usually cost me around RM8. But yesterday, I had to pay RM18,” said the 23-year-old executive, adding that she also had to try three times and wait more than 10 minutes compared to only three to four minutes previously, before getting a driver.

A graphic designer who wanted to be known only as Amelia claimed that her usual fare had also increased by RM10 for the ride from Bangsar to her office in Bukit Bintang and that she had to wait for 20 minutes to get a driver.

“As a passenger, I have to accept it, or else, I have to find other options to go to work. I hope this situation will not persist,” she lamented.

Malaysian Grab Drivers Association President Arif Asyraf Ali when asked on these claims said he had yet to receive any official complaint in regards to the fare hikes, but there were a few on the lack of e-hailing drivers.

“Maybe because the passengers are accustomed to this dynamic fare - if the number of drivers is low, the fare will increase. There were only a few complaints on difficulties to get drivers in the morning,” he said.

In Malacca, a regular Grab passenger Muhammad Zakiyudin Yusof, 30, said there was no fare hike in the state within these two days and that he had been paying the same fare.

“So far, the fare pattern is still the same, I still pay below RM10 just like before,” said the retail store manager who travels from Melaka Raya to Aeon Bandaraya Melaka daily.

A civil servant based in Johor Baru, Nur Aqeela Arbaen, 27, expressed her relief as she did not experience any fare hike for her normal rides, saying that the fares would only go up during peak hours, which she considered as normal.

“During the off-peak hours, it only costs me RM5, but during peak hours, the fare can go up to RM10. At the moment, there has been no increase in fares for me to get to my office,” she said.

In Terengganu, a full-time Grab driver Mohd Faez Mohd Fozi said the fares in the state remained stable as many drivers had obtained the PSV licences and complied with the requirements.

“The demand in Terengganu is not the same as in the Klang Valley. Therefore, the problem in the Klang Valley is a non-issue in Terengganu,” he added. - Bernama

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