KUALA LUMPUR, July17 – The Ministry of Tourism and Culture plans to create a course to train local taxi drivers interested to learn skills as tourist guides for free, said its minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
He said the proposal was aimed at providing an opportunity to taxi drivers to diversity their role besides promoting popular local tourist attractions.
“Some tourists prefer to take the taxi if they want to go to any destinations, If they (taxi drivers) can rent their services to these tourists and have the skills to become tour guides, this gives an added value to the taxi driver himself.
“However, it is on a voluntary basis only and I believe it can benefit the traditional taxi too. It will be recommended to the Cabinet if the majority of tax drivers agreed,” he said at a media conference after launching the EzCab e-hailing application, the first in Malaysia to provide SOS button for the safety of taxi passengers here today.
Nazri said the government was always ready to hear any suggestions or views in improving and enhancing the quality of traditional taxi services.
On the application, EzCab chief executive officer Raymond Yap Biow Seng said it was equipped with three emergency call buttons comprising an 999 emergency line, an EzCab SOS 24-hour service centre and a direct call to the contact number entered during the signing up to EzCab via Google Play Store.
“This button is also equipped with the GPS system in which, if any emergency occurs to the passengers or taxi drivers, we (EzCab) can locate their location and immediately send assistance,” he said.
Yap said EzCab would monitor for a month on tax drivers registered under the application if they were found to have committed any offences and appropriate measures would be taken against them.
The EzCab service, currently available in the Klang Valley, Seremban, Johor Bahru, and Sabah, is expected to be extended to Penang and Melaka soon.
At present it has over 2, 500 taxi drivers registered under the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).