By Syauqi Jamil

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Transport today announces that there is a new player in the e-hailing service industry, diffride.

In the official launching ceremony, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook expressed his delight in having yet another brand offering a public transportation services in the competitive yet healthy industry.

He said, the growth of the industry will depend on the synergy of these operators with the government in ensuring they provide what Malaysians need, whilst at the same time progressing as a successful business organization.

“We continue to challenge local businesses to set their aims high to become templates of good business practices to those in other countries.”

“We would like to congratulate diffride and look forward to the promise of safe reliable and affordable service for all Malaysians,” he said in his speech.

Loke after the launch had tried the diffride app and was greeted shortly after with an Audi which was driven by former Malaysian Formula 1 racer, Alex Yoong.

Speaking at the official launch, diffride Chief Executive Officer Hannah Yong explained that their services requires its drivers to pay a daily flat fee of RM5 to use the app instead of being charged a percentage for each ride.

Yong said that the daily fee will not change even after the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) in September but pointed out that the rate was subject to review at the end of the year.

“By not requiring them to pay us a percentage of their fares, this means we can not only offer our riders a more competitive fare rate, but also allow our drivers to take home a larger amount of their earnings,” she said.

She also mentioned that prospective drivers will be screened to ensure that they have no criminal records and summonses, with cars registered to be required to be less than 8 years old.

Yong added, the drivers will also be required to install telematics technology provided by the company for an unbiased performance report and to track their cars’ location should it is jacked.

There are currently about 2,000 registered diffride drivers who are starting their services today, where the numbers are expected to grow to 6,000 at the end of the year end.

Under the app, which is now available to download for free on both iOS and Android platforms, passengers will also be able to pay in both cash and cashless options.

Passengers will be charged RM5 for the first 5km of ride, and further charges would be based on the minutes or distance travelled.

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