Some Uber, Grab drivers likely to quit when new law implemented

uber-grab-1PETALING JAYA: Some Uber and Grab driver-partners are ready to quit the ride-sharing services if legislation is passed in Parliament that will entail greater bureaucracy, and more fees and taxes being imposed on them.

Several Uber and Grab drivers admitted they would leave the industry once the bill proposed by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) was made law and implemented by the relevant authorities.

One of them, Florence Han, 29, said she would not continue driving Grab if she had to go through many more procedures and make additional payments to be able to use her car commercially.

“If I have to go through all the hassle, I might quit from driving Grab. It is not worth my time to go through such rigorous processes,” Florence told FMT, adding that part-time drivers would be affected the most once ride-sharing was legislated.

“Part time drivers like myself wouldn’t want to go through rigorous procedures just to gain some extra income. It will be a waste of time and money,” she said.

Asked if recent criminal cases involving Uber and Grab drivers had affected the number of customers, Florence said “no”.

Benjamin Foo, 36, who has been driving Uber for the past few months, said if the new law regarding e-hailing services required him to go through the same process as taxi drivers, then he would opt for other jobs which would be less of a hassle.

“If I need to pay a lot like taxi, for rental and all other procedures, then I will search for better alternatives,” he said.

“In a day, I can barely get RM80. I’m afraid if once they approve this service, we will have to pay extra just so that we get the permission to drive Uber,” he said.

Convenient, fast cash

Another Grab driver, Darren, said more drivers would pull out from the industry because they had initially taken the job because it was convenient and they could earn fast cash.

Speaking about the recent criminal cases involving Uber and Grab drivers, Darren claimed that the authorities, such as SPAD would start implementing several new security measures for e-hailing service providers, and this too might discourage more ride-sharing drivers.

“Once they approve the bill in parliament, I am sure the government and authorities will find a way to implement more rules and regulations which will restrict many Uber and Grab drivers who only wish to earn some extra income,” Darren said.

“If the drivers refuse or accidentally commit offences, they will have to pay penalties, as reported in the news. This is not a win-win situation for us,” he said.

Last April, the e-hailing services bill was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat. Under the bill, ride sharing services will soon have to apply for licences to operate under the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act (Amendment).

The licence is for the business of facilitating arrangements, bookings or transactions of an e-hailing vehicle.

Under Section 26A (1), it will be compulsory for a company operating e-hailing services to have an intermediation licence and comply with the conditions set by the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB).

These include the type of service provided, as well as measures to safeguard the safety and security of passengers and the standard of performance with which e-hailing companies must comply.

It seeks to propose that licensing of intermediation businesses include the conditions that may be attached to the licence issued by the board, and the offence of operating the business without a licence.

An individual providing e-hailing services who operates without an intermediation business licence can be fined up to RM500,000, jailed for not more than three years, or both upon conviction.

Those who fail to comply with the conditions set by CVLB could face a fine of not less than RM1,000 and not more than RM200,000, a maximum two-year jail term, or both.

Starting June 16, e-hailing operators are required to submit records of their drivers to SPAD to enable the agency to conduct stringent background checks with the cooperation of other enforcement agencies, including the police and the road transport department (JPJ).

The e-hailing operators have also been instructed to fast-track the implementation of a panic or SOS button on their passenger apps.

“The proposed ‘panic button’ will provide passengers with a feature that will help them notify the police in case of an emergency,” it said.