If there’s a gun to your head, what would you name the one downside of living in Kuala Lumpur? If you’re thinking about traffic and getting around in the alpha world city, you’re not alone! KL is the most populous city in the country and getting around it can be quite nightmarish, let alone overwhelming. Budget taxis can turn to be very frustrating to get during peak hours and driving around in your own car means waiting behind the wheel during rush hours.
One transportation network company is doing its bit to make the experience, well, less nightmarish and less overwhelming. Uber, which was launched in Malaysia in January this year, has launched its uber-cheap service, “UberX,” in KL.
The San Francisco-based company uses smartphone apps to provide luxury and private car services on demand to its consumers around the world, and was named the tech company of 2013 by USA Today. It boasts of providing a luxurious experience with minimum waiting time. You can download the Uber app for iOS and Android platforms from the App Store and Google Play Store.
UberX for ridesharing and other services at standard budget Taxi rates
The UberX service is Uber’s low-cost, non-luxury car service that will cost you almost the same as any regular metered taxi in KL.
The company charges a base fare of RM1.50 for the UberX service and RM0.22 a minute, plus RM0.55 a kilometer. You’ll have to shell out RM1.50 as the minimum fare. Now compare this to a budget taxi in the city. You are charged a base fare of RM3 and rates start to vary from RM0.10 for 21 seconds to RM0.87 for every kilometer you travel.
For services that fall between midnight and 6am, budget taxis levy a surcharge of 50 percent – something that the UberX service will not. Not to forget that budget taxis make you shell out additional Malaysian Ringgits to pay the toll fares that you may incur during your trip. With UberX, toll payments are not your concern. Pretty sweet, isn’t it?
What to expect of the UberX service
While the ridesharing and vehicles-for-hire platform hasn’t made any official statement yet, it is believed that non-luxury cars Perodua Myvi and Nissan Almera will be used by Uber for this service.
According to sources familiar with matter, close to 20 Nissan Almera cars are plying the streets under the UberX service. While the cars may have turned non-luxury, services remain luxurious. You’ll enjoy the convenience of cashless travel that high-end Uber services like the UberBlack provide. The UberX drivers will have to undergo the same background checks and verifications that drivers of the more premium Uber cars have to undergo.
If you want a more luxurious experience in terms of the car you get to travel in, but still want to remain in budget, you can turn to the UberBlack service. Effective July 1, 2014, the company has slashed UberBlack fares by 20 percent, until further notice, to bring the premium service to standard-taxi rates. The premium service uses cars like Mercedes E-class, Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana, Audi A6, Toyota Alphard, Honda Accord, Hyundai Starex, and a Jaguar XJL.
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