Saturday, 28 May 2016
KUALA LUMPUR: Watch out, Uber and GrabCar, there may be a new player in town.
A conventional taxi company has announced that it would be launching its own e-hailing mobile application to rival the ride-sharing services in the city.
Big Blue Taxi Services, which ironically has been one of the most vocal companies against the e-hailing format, said it now wanted “a piece of the pie” which had mostly been dominated by the two companies.
The app, which is expected to be launched in October, caters to tourists in the city’s Golden Triangle region, Ampang, Bangsar, Damansara and Sri Hartamas.
Big Blue Taxi Services founder Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said users could book cabs at a RM2 base rate and would have their choice of taxi drivers near them.
These taxi drivers would have their details published in the app, along with a star-rating made by other customers, so users could gauge the driver’s service level.
The app itself would prevent haggling, and have a complaints section for users and a panic button linked to the police in case of emergency.
“Obviously, they (Uber and GrabCar) will say their app is better. We are coming out with this app to boost revenue for our taxi drivers and to provide satisfactory services for our customers.
“We admit that Uber and GrabCar have done a good job in creating the platform. But the difference between them and our app is the features and the fact that our taxis have permits and are legal,” Shamsubahrin told a press conference.
True to conventional cabs, the “Big Blue” app will also have a package deal for tourists who wish to travel from here to out-of-state destinations like Genting Highlands, Malacca and Penang.
The app would also allow people near each other who are heading to the same place to share the ride and split the cost.
Shamsubahrin said the company was also thinking of introducing a taxi delivery service in the app, where users could hail a cab, drop off goods by having them sent to a location, with payment done with cash or via online banking.
“We are just trying to remain competitive in the industry,” he said.
The Land Public Transport Commission has submitted a working paper on the e-hailing model to the Economic Planning Unit as it attempts to regulate and strike a balance in public transport with Uber and GrabCar being allowed to operate legally in Malaysia.