Uber has finally launched its services in Penang, making it the third city under its belt after Johor Bahru.
Anyone with a driving license, a car and insurance can now register as a Uber driver. At the moment, there is only one Uber option and according to Uber’s website, the vehicle options are Perodua Myvi, Proton Saga, and Toyota Vios.
The base fare is to call an Uber ride is RM 2 with RM 0.35 for every minute and RM 0.70 per KM for a trip. The service is just newly launched in Penang, hence there is a limited amount of vehicles. So Penangites, do bear in mind that the wait times would be longer than usual.
Nevertheless, regardless of the waiting time, Penangites should definitely give Uber a spin as their services are still up to 20% cheaper when compared to regular taxis fare in Malaysia (according to a graph released by Uber).
“Finally Uber is in Penang, Malaysia! Took 2 rides yesterday and they cost me way less than MyTeksi or a regular taxi 🙂 I’m a fan,” said Marta Olszewska on Twitter, an expat living in Penang.
In the long run, we believe that their services will get better over time once Uber have more users signing up to be Uber drivers in Penang. On April 14, Uber posted on Facebook that just 5 years after their launch in the first city, they are now in over 300 cities all over the world, in 56 countries.
Just end of last year, according to The Malaysian Insider, it was revealed that despite woes of traffic congestion because cars outnumber the people in Penang, Penangites are still not convinced to use public transport and prefer to use their own vehicles.
Chow Kon Yeow, the state executive councillor in charge of traffic management, told The Malaysian Insider that “it is a challenge when people are used to the ease of having cars at their disposal” and that “the lack of an efficient system has been a push factor, too”.
Hopefully Uber brings about a proper and efficient mode of transportation to the people in Penang and they will be more receptive towards using public transport. They will probably still occasionally get stuck in traffic jams (it’s hard to avoid the repercussions of rush hour), but at least it won’t be them getting frustrated behind the wheel.