Unmetered…if there’s a word like that

I am appalled to note that taxi drivers in Penang still do not use the meter. Despite the launch of metered taxis sometime last year, this ruling has not been enforced at all and the authorities (or whatever it is they are called these days) have fallen prey to the strikes that the taxi drivers have held against this implementation. Last Monday, when my hubby and I wanted to take a cab to go to Gurney Plaza from Komtar, we stood at the designated taxi stand and hailed down a cab. The taxi driver told us it would cost RM12. What??!! 12 freakin’ ringgit just for a 10-minute drive, traffic-jam-free? That was way too much. So we walked a little further down the road to another taxi stand, where all the taxi drivers were lepaking. We could not believe it when they told us it was gonna cost RM15. Another group of taxi drivers around the corner quoted us RM15 too, but was willing to go down to (what he claimed was his lowest offer) RM12. So we were back at square one. We reluctantly paid the twelve bucks, and headed to Gurney Plaza, convinced that we were definitely being overcharged. Why is it that taxis in the Klang Valley are cooperative and obedient enough to use the meters but not Penang taxis? Are Penang taxi drivers truly living up to their reputation of being kiam-siap(stingy)? Is it so hard for the authorities to clamp down on these taxi drivers? I bet they would charge a tourist way much more than RM12, that’s for sure. With Penang being a certain tourist destination this Visit Malaysia Year 2007, the non-usage of metered taxis is definitely a bane rather than a boon for the industry. And it saddens me that nobody is doing anything about it.

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12 Responses to Unmetered…if there’s a word like that

  1. rinnah says:

    It’s a Malaysian thing to blatantly ignore and flout the laws, esp. when it comes to the cabbies. I remember when I was car-less last time I used to get cabbies telling me it would cost me RM5 to drive less than 1.5km to my destination (using the meter would only cost RM2.40). I would rather walk, but couldn’t run the risk of being late, and there were no buses heading in that direction.

    psst… Lemme give you Angel’s translation of VMY (Visit Malaysia Year 2007) = Very Memalufying, Ya? *grin*

    The Giddy Tiger says: That’s a great way to explain the acronym VMY. I think it’s time I visit Angel’s blog for more insightful definitions 😀

  2. Klang Valley taxis do not use the meter too dear. But I try not to take cabs because I’m totally paranoid about them. There’s something about being in a small confined place with a total stranger that stresses me out big time. Horror cabbie stories do not help. and VMY is just another way to scam tourists 😛

    The Giddy Tiger says: When I was in KL last, I called some SuperCab number and they used the meter, didn’t know there are some who don’t 😛 I know what you mean about horror cab stories…never mind, when I am in KL, I call you and you come pick me up? Heh heh.

  3. Gallivanter says:

    Well, as Paris mentioned, not all Klang Valley taxis use meters either. The thing is here, we could skip that one and hail another cab. What happen to the Penang beca? 😛

    The Giddy Tiger says: Funny you should mention the beca…I contemplated hiring one of those the other day. I thought it would be fun to let Ethan ride in it. I saw the beca riders decorating their becas along Penang Road actually…all part of the VMY scam I suppose. Teehee!

  4. may says:

    I shouldn’t complain so much about cabbies and them not using the meters back home, not after I realised how friggin’ expensive a cab ride is here in Sydney. the only time I’d take a cab would be if I could charge it to the client! seriously expensive…

    The Giddy Tiger says: Do cabbies use meters in Sydney though?

  5. khai khee says:

    hi, 1st time dropping a comment here. the taxis in miri here also never used meter. i think there’s not even 1 cab used meter and they charged expensive too. the gahmen here is not stict at all when come to these problems..

    The Giddy Tiger says: Hi! That’s for stopping by. You’re right…the gahmen should be stricter. I guess they never have had to take cabs?

  6. Pink Cotton says:

    hehehe malaysia boleh!!!

    i think taxis in kota kinabalu,sabah also not using meter yet…
    a 10 min ride from airport to town costed us rm20 -_-”
    traffic jam free too

    The Giddy Tiger says: Gee, these cabbies are earning quite a hefty income, huh?

  7. wuching says:

    write a letter to your local mp lor

    The Giddy Tiger says: The local mp needs to experience it for himself hoh?

  8. chinnee says:

    same in most places in selangor la….5mins ride can cost RM8 !

    The Giddy Tiger says: If you ever need a part-time job, cabbing is the way to go, eh?

  9. michelle says:

    Last time they charged me RM15 from Bayan Baru to Airport. Never again I will take a cab in Penang.

    The Giddy Tiger says: But if you take a cab from the airport, the rates are fixed, right? Next time if you need to go to the airport, you can call me, I give you discount 20%. hehehe.

  10. miche says:

    no wonder when i was at park royal, the reception told me RM60 from ferringi to sg ara. short distance already RM15!

    The Giddy Tiger says: Come to think of it RM60 from Ferringhi to Sg Ara is not too bad, considering the distance and the jam.

  11. Pinkelle says:

    I found that out when I was last in Penang and it was ridiculous paying so much for a short distance! So we got the brilliant idea of using the bus like the locals and it’s fun 🙂 Great adventure!

    The Giddy Tiger says: I believe some areas even have free bus rides, like what they have in Perth!

  12. LB says:

    Hmmm, I will have to rely on Chen to taxi me around in Penang then! LOL.. but there must be some good cabbies around, surely? The whole island could not be that infected, could it?

    The Giddy Tiger says: Haha…but I have no patience locating these “uninfected” cabbies!

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