Go-KL vs Teksi

I feel like I have to write something w.r.t. the issue above. A couple of days ago, a group of taxi drivers staged a protest in front of Pavilion at Jalan Bukit Bintang; to protest against the intimidation by SPAD officers, and against the Go-KL City buses. They claimed that SPAD officers were targeting them unfairly for minor infringements, and the free Go-KL City Bus service are affecting their livelihood.

In my opinion, what the taxi drivers claimed are not totally baseless, but their reasoning is quite pathetic. SPAD had rightly performed its duty to issue summons to renegade taxis. There were too many complaints about taxis and its drivers. I support SPAD in clamping down the errant taxis.

I also believe that taxi drivers are having a hard time earning good wages. However, Go-KL City buses are not the one to be blamed.  With over 37,000 taxi permits issued in Klang Valley (according to a Malay Mail article in 2011), no wonder the drivers are having a hard time finding customers. LPKP (SPAD’s predecessor) should be held accountable for the way the issuance of taxi permits are not controlled.

How many taxi trips per day do people in Klang Valley make? What is the average distance they take on taxis? What are the average charges for each trip? Which areas of Klang Valley have the most taxi trips? Which points of starting and destination are the most frequent? What are the demographics of the passengers of taxis? How much does each taxi driver make per day? Has the demand of taxis exceeded the supply of taxis?

Has LPKP or SPAD done any of these studies? How do they use the results of the studies to decide the best policy for taxis? I think they haven’t done any, because if they had, there wouldn’t be 37,000 taxis permits issued by the agency.

I am grateful that SPAD introduce the Go-KL City bus service, but not because it is free. I am grateful because I know now, I can move around downtown KL by bus, without waiting more than 10 minutes for a bus. That is a convenience I like about the SPAD’s new initiative.

I have never liked taking a taxi. I rather take a bus, ride the LRT/Monorel or ride my bicycle to downtown KL. There are too many horror stories about our taxis service. Someone high up in the government still could claim that the taxi drivers are our ambassadors to the tourists. I shudder just thinking about it.

The only good thing that has come out of this protest is that Go-KL City Bus gets a boost in popularity. Now, everyone in Klang Valley knows there is a free bus service called Go-KL City Bus. And my blog also have higher page impressions the past 3 days because many people are googling for “Go-KL”. Cheers!

Read and decide for yourselves.

Star Metro: Locals and tourists find GOKL service prompt and convenient

FMT: System, not cabbies to blame

FMT: No support for cabbie protest

MD: SPAD to Look Into Taxi Woes in Bukit Bintang

KL is the BEST! (image from the Star)

Categories: Rants, Travel | Tags: | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Go-KL vs Teksi

  1. I used to live in KL and as a foreigner who didn’t choose to drive a car, I was nearly always targeted to be ripped off by a taxi driver even though I knew the layout of the land and I know what roads they should take.

    There were many times they said the meter is broken, or that the fare is fixed for a certain location, or they charge extra because of the traffic.

    Can you imagine, one time, I was charged 40rm for a trip from Midvalley to Bukit Jalil — no traffic and no tolls! That kind of fare is halfway to the airport already! Crazy!

    And I know it’s kind of racist, but I have to say that Indian drivers are the worst! Especially in the downtown city, where they rip off tourists with a straight face and say that KLCC to KL Tower is 20rm, even if there’s no jam! OMG!

    That’s one thing I’m glad I’m not experiencing anymore.

    • Diane,

      I have heard similar stories from friends in KL. that’s why taking a cab in KL is a last resort. even then, I will try to call a cab instead.

      anyway, Singapore cab drivers are more professional. though it maybe expensive when converted into RM, I don’t mind taking one when I visit Singapore, if no bus or MRT goes to my destination 🙂

    • Tze Haw

      From my experience as a local:

      A taxi trip from Mid-Valley to Happy Garden where I live (a place 5 minutes away from Bukit Jalil by car or bus) cost between rm8 to rm11 depending on traffic condition.

      If you take a taxi at NORTH COURT ENTRANCE, they usually will charge by meter, that’s good but the DOWNSIDE is you will waste about rm1.00 as the taxi will swerve around the building blocks before it exits to Old Klang road and towards Bukit Jalil. That’s how the mid valley city road were build, you have no choice but to waste that rm1.00.

      So the next ‘wise’ choice is take a taxi at SOUTH COURT ENTRANCE, which is nearer to the exit to Old Klang road. You thought this will save you some money right? But NOOOOOO, the taxi driver there will not charged you by meter, they fixed the price to RM15 or RM20 or RM25 if your local.

      So you might want to walk a small distance, cross a road and down a flight of stairs to take a taxi at the bus stop at JALAN SYED PUTRA. This will save you some money and your taxi go straight into Old Klang Road from here.

      If you are nitpicking about money and willing to wait, take the U71 RapidKL Bus at same bus stop. It is cheap: RM2.00 but the DOWNSIDE is if you’re unlucky, you’ll wait around 20 minutes to an hour (I’ve waited an hour and a half once because the bus broke down or something), but I think the service is better nowadays. U71 is the only bus line that I know that go from pasar seni (near china town) – kl sentral – mid valley – happy garden to Bukit Jalil.

      So if you want cheap and willing to wait, bus is your best choice.
      Cheaper taxi price? Take a cab at the same bus stop above.
      Have a hand-fulls of shopping bags and your legs are tired for all the walking? Taxi at North court entrance is your choice.
      extra note: Don’t take taxi at mid valley mall when people are off working from 5.30 to 8.00.

      Also, as a Malaysian Chinese, I think Chinese and Indian (especially at night time) are the worst taxi driver. Chinese taxi driver will try to go on detour to charge you more, the Indian taxi driver are rude especially the evenings driver. The Malay taxi drivers I’ve met are more honest and humble.

      • Tze Haw,

        Thank you for sharing your experience. I always take public transport when I go to mid valley. Never a taxi.

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