No plans to control e-hailing prices now

The government has no plans to control the prices of e-hailing vehicles for now, Transport Minister Anthony Loke confirmed during Minister’s Question Time this morning in Dewan Rakyat.

This is because there is a myriad of factors determine the fares and the government does not intend to disrupt the existing policy.

“Variables such as traffic congestion, weather, distance, time, demand total and supply total directly determine the matching of bookings,” Loke answered Julau MP Larry Sng.

Sng who is also Parti Bangsa Malaysia president questioned whether the government has follow-up actions after meeting e-hailing companies, particularly on measures to increase the drivers’ income.

Loke pointed out that raising the minimum wage for drivers would have repercussions.

Fares will increase

“The implication is that fares to consumers will increase.

“And then you will also come to this House to complain that e-hailing fares for users have increased.

“So we need to look at a balance, that in e-hailing, it uses dynamic system pricing mechanisms that is dependent on demand and supply,” he said.

Loke added that there were times when the rates were low but it was still worth the drivers’ time.

“The offer depends on the driver. It at non-peak times, when there is not much demand, the driver may or may not make an offer.

“So far, we maintain the existing policy, but we will continue to hold discussions with e-hailing companies so that we can find a method without the government putting a condition.

Looking to incentivise periodically

“But at the same time we also want to see what incentives the companies can give to drivers to increase their income,” he said.

Loke pointed out that Grab drivers in Singapore did not receive commission from trips but the rates can go up by 20 percent.

“So, they asked us to cancel the ceiling limit. We have not made that decision yet because at this point our policy is that the ceiling limit of the commission that can be taken by the company is only 20 per cent,” he said.

He gave an assurance that the government will look into ways it can create incentives for e-hailing drivers periodically.