Covid-19: How long can taxi and E-hailing services survive?

Covid-19 has been effecting our lives for the worse in so many ways. Our economic growth has contracted at a rate of 17.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020. As of yesterday evening, we have seen 4,554 death caused by this pandemic. More than 600,000 from the middle 40% (M40) income fell to Below 40% (B40) as the pandemic struck hard on Malaysian income level. Many B40 who depend on daily income cannot provide for their family.

One of the highlight that we would like to shed is the survivability of the Taxi and E-hailing industries. This industry depend on the movement of the the people and once the Movement Control Order (MCO) is being implemented, they are one of the industry that is being hit really hard

Chairman of the Shahab Perdana (Perdana) Car Rental Owners Association, Radzi Baharom said the taxi service industry is expected to be buried soon if its workers are not further assisted by the authorities to continue to survive, especially when faced with the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“I don’t know until when the eight active members of this association will survive during the MCO period which I do not know when it will end. Since the implementation of MCO 3.0 started last June 1 until today, the number of customers can be counted.

“The taxi industry is dead not only for us here but also for drivers in other places. We really hope that the government can help us with the help of monthly allowances as enjoyed by other groups such as fishermen,” he said when met by reporters at Terminal Shahab. Perdana, Alor Setar on Tuesday.

Furthermore a total of 120 taxi and e-hailing drivers in the Kuala Muda district, admitted that their income was affected due to the absence of customers over the past year.

Taxi driver Mat Saad Mat Ahkil, 64, said he, who offers taxi services around Sungai Petani town and trips to Butterworth, Penang, has faced a shortage of customers since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

President of the Malaysian Grab Drivers Association, Arif Asyraf Ali said E-hailing drivers who are already stressed with the current situation are now getting ‘tense’ after the government’s directive for more staff to work from home (WFH)

“What other preparations (can be made) because we understand (there are) new drivers who want to breathe after the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which ended before, so when a new CMCO enters, we just want to breathe, everything is haywhire, all problems return.

The economy should be recovering day by day, when the government sets a time for management, of course there are fewer customers because schools are closed and all are closed and all work from home.” He said to Astro Awani

Even though there is lots of incentives done to help them, for instance Yayasan Ikram Malaysia distributes drive-by assistance to taxi drivers in the Klang Valley whose income has been affected following the implementation of the MCO, and Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi Tambahan (PEMERKASA+) which the government has allocated RM68 million for special assistance in a lump sum of RM500 to 17,000 tourist guides, taxi drivers (40,000), school bus drivers (11,000), sightseeing buses (4,000) and rental car and e-hailing drivers (62,000) starting this July, it seems like this industry need more than this help

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