Malaysian taxis. Photo: Kojach, Creative Commons Attribution License.

As the public gears up for a price hike in goods because of GST, the Land Public Transport Commission has just announced an increase in transport fares. Taxi fare increases have been effect since 19 March, and increase in bus fares effective as of 15 May 2015.

Update: Following the announcement on 19 March, the government requested that the increased taxi fares be deferred. However, an on-the-ground check by Poskod.MY revealed that some drivers had already started charging by new rates, while others were sticking to the old rates. SPAD has not yet issued an update on its website (23/03/2015).

Update: The government has agreed for the increased taxi fares to remain in effect. Bus and rail fare increases will be confirmed at a later date (24/03/2015).

Table via SPAD.

How high is the spike in taxi fares?

The base rate for budget taxis in the Klang Valley and Penang remains at its usual starting rate of RM3. However, Teksi1M (the gold and silver Proton Exora) base rates increased from RM3 to RM4. The budget taxi fares in the Klang Valley and JB increased to 25 sen per 200m (from 10sen per 115m); and 42.67 sen per minute (from 28 sen per minute). This is an increase of over 40%.

How much is the bus fare increase?

Klang Valley bus fares will also spike from 9.3 sen per km to 11.4 sen per km, an increase of over 22%. Senior citizens, children under 12 and those with disabilities will still be entitled to a 25% discount on express bus fares.

Inter-city buses will increase between RM4.70 – RM11. For example, an Express Bus from KL to Ipoh is now RM20.60 and will increase to RM25.30.

When were the rates last reviewed by SPAD?

The last fare review on taxi and bus fares was conducted six years ago in 2009. As seen on the SPAD website, they have also announced an upcoming review on KTM and LRT fares which will be announced at a date to be advised by the respective operators.

The last approved review on the LRT Ampang Line was 19 years ago, LRT Kelana Jaya Line was 17 years ago, Monorail was 12 years ago and the KTM was 12 years ago although the rates have remained standard for the KTM fares for 25 years in total.

Is there any benefits for customers?

Most customers have reacted in shock to the increased prices. However, SPAD argues that the implementation of the increase in fares may encourage taxi drivers to pick up passengers even during peak hours and constantly run on a meter.

SPAD has also mentioned the launch of an app called MeterOn on 25 March 2015. The app will supposedly carry features such as driver verification, journey tracker, driver rating, SOS alert and quick reports. The app is said to also enable commuters to rate the drivers, lodge a report immediately with SPAD, and keep a record of the passenger’s taxi rides.

Will Uber be affected?

Uber prices are not affected by the increased tariffs. The Selangor and Federal Territory Taxi and Car Rental Services Association has actually expressed its concern that many customers will now opt for services like Uber, in light of the sudden increase in taxi fares.

Kathryn Rao

Find out more on the increase in fares here.

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