Surprise, surprise. After months of waging war between taxis and the ride-hailing apps in Malaysia, local taxi companies are now ready to collaborate with Uber.
In a bid to “save the taxi industry”, The Sun reported that a group of taxi companies and associations known as Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GPST) will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) sometime this week.
“Instead of continuous war against Uber, it’s time to embrace the enemy,” taxi companies told the publication. Approximately 500 taxi drivers across Peninsular Malaysia is set to take part in next month’s Uber pilot stage.
The companies are now in the midst of overhauling their business models while finalising service deals that concern credit and debit card transactions. “We will continue to operate as metered cab operators. But if a taxi driver decides to take bookings via Uber, then the cabbie has to follow the fare rate set by Uber,” shared a taxi operation manager.
When asked why the taxi companies chose to partner with Uber instead of Grab, a representative replied, “The public are more aware with the Uber branding. We have also been using local apps (for bookings) but we are not getting much traction due to lack of marketing.”
It remains to be seen if the deduction of fare income will be 25%, which is the deduction for regular Uber drivers.