Sunday, October 7, 2012

KL cabbies Worst in the World & Go-KL FREE bus service

This is embarrassing. The frontpage of The Star today is about taxi rip-off, i.e., KL taxis, and that KL cabbies have an international reputation for ripping off passengers, especially foreigners.

Is there any truth in it? A reporter from the newspaper posed as a foreign tourist from England to find out if KL cabbies are indeed living up to the ‘worst taxi drivers in the world’ reputation as bestowed upon by through a poll. For KL cabbies and the local tourism industry, it is certainly not a favourable thing to top the list for.

There's more.

Popular website Tripadvisor also warns travellers about KL's errant taxi drivers who “refuse to use the meter, quoting a fare often with the view of ripping you off”.

“This quoted' fare is generally akin to daylight robbery, and sometimes when haggling takes place, it is reciprocated with rude gestures or abusive language ...” adds Tripadvisor.

On, a visitor posted: “I have travelled the world and from Bombay to Boston I can tell you the taxi drivers in KL are the biggest pack of thieving lying dirtbags you will ever come across.”

The above is from the article from the reporter who posed as the foreigner tourist. She found out that out of 11 taxis, only ONE fare almost match Malaysia Taxi Auto Fare's calculations. The asking price was RM10 for a trip from Jalan Tun H S Lee to Pavilion in Bukit Bintang.

If you'd like to know what she found out posing as a foreign tourist, read her article, KL cabbies living up to ‘worst taxi drivers in the world’ reputation.

Recently, some 200 cabbies went on strike at Bukit Bintang outside the Fahrenheit shopping complex during the evening rush hour. Their vehicles were parked right in the middle of the road as they staged their noisy protest. They told reporters that their livelihood was being affected because the Go-KL bus service passed through the most popular destinations. They also complained about alleged harassment by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

What is the Go-KL bus service? On August 31, a new bus service was introduced in Kuala Lumpur specifically in the city centre. The best part of this service is, it is FREE. Anyone, local or tourist, can get on it to take him or her to any destination within the bus route.

A reader who wrote in to The Star said,

Providing free bus services in city centres is a feature that has helped Australia reduce inner city private traffic.

KL is moving its public transportation up a notch and is joining a number of other cities that provide free bus services in the city centres. They include Manchester, Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney. These services make travel in the city convenient for city folks as well as for tourists. The free service also helps reduce transportation expenses subsequently reducing financial burden.

Of course not every taxi driver is in on the ripoff act but enough of them are drawing unwanted international attention that is not helping their profession, neither helping tourism in the country.

It's about time something is done. Go-KL deserves our support.

Information about the Go-KL free bus service:

At present, there are about 15 of the purple buses, equipped with WiFi, serving two routes.

From KLCC, the Green Line follows Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan, and into the Golden Triangle.

The Purple Line services the Central Market hub including Bangkok Bank, Masjid Jamek, Ceylon Hill's Junction and Kota Raya.

Both routes overlap at Pavilion, Starhill Gallery, Bukit Bintang, Wisma Boustead and Wisma MPL so passengers can transit.

The frequency of the buses is every five minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours.

Operating hours are 6am to 11pm.

For more information, visit the service's Facebook page ( or Twitter #GOKL or call the hotline at 1-800-88-7723.


Additionally, all 15 vehicles are disabled-friendly. Besides WiFi-enabled, they are also equipped with security cameras to ensure safety of passengers. GPS is also available onboard and enforcement officers often travel incognito with the passengers.

That's not all. The bus service is also eco-friendly as, according to a report, a sapling will be planted for every cumulative 1,000km travelled to offset the estimated carbon emission of 0.11 metric tonnes. Thinking ahead, the worn-out tyres will be used to create artificial reefs to help restore damaged coral reefs. Source

THE Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has no plans to cease the free GO-KL bus service, following protests from taxi drivers here, NST reported.

Go-KL city bus routes: (Source: NST)

I blew up the earlier image on purpose so that the text could be easily read. Here's the uncluttered version..

When you visit KL next, do try out the Go-KL free bus service. You may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get from one shopping mall or tourist destination to another.

Image source: The Star


  1. sad to hear that

  2. Anonymous7:56 PM

    I'm not in the least surprised. They should take stern action against those touts!!! Give KL a very very bad name!!!

  3. Anonymous7:57 PM

    A taxi driver asked for RM30 from Bukit Bintang to Pertama Complex...and wanted to pick a fight with me when I refused to use his cab.

    I had moved away from the taxi stand...and I was surfing the net on my handphone at the time (like what I always do)...and he threw a stone at me, hit my face! He started shouting using all kinds of foul language - accusing me of trying to lodge a complaint about him. Then he rushed towards me, pushing his body against instigating a fight. Maybe he was hoping I would hit him and he would have an excuse to hit me back and trash me like hell!

    I saw the cab with the Malay driver passing by, flagged it down, jumped into it and left the scene. The taxi fare by meter was ONLY RM7.00!!! I gave him RM10.00 and asked him to give the change.

  4. Anonymous7:58 PM

    Once I took from Puduraya to Concorde KL, got slaughtered RM30. Said traffic jam. I was too tired to argue and just got in. He used the backlanes and alleyways and got there in less than 5 minutes...and he asked me to get out on the opposite side of the road...and told me to cross the road, bags and all, it was not convenient for him to go round and drop me off at the hotel entrance.

  5. Anonymous7:59 PM

    Once I was outside the hotel where I was staying along Bukit Bintang. Lots of taxi drivers waiting in front, cabs parked illegally by the roadside. A Mat Salleh couple asked one Indian across the road - maybe the guy's cab already booked or he did not want to go up to he brought the couple over to another taxi driver and he told that Chinese guy in Malay, "Slaughter them! Now you don't slaughter, when will you get the chance to slaughter again?"

  6. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Of course there are some good ones around...sad that they are overshadowed by these horrible ones.

  7. sad to hear that we've got another world's #1, but frankly the taxi drivers well deserve that, hahaha!!

  8. the GoKL free bus services is indeed a good initiative, for us that travels between the golden triangle areas.. but then they are hogging the bus stand spaces and many complaints the blocked other RapidKL buses and made them miss their buses..

  9. Hello, my Happy Friend. haven't read blogs for ages, but decided to take a quick look at how my friends are doing... starting with you. =)

    You really are passionate about blogging!

    I read the same article on Yahoo news, but the free bus service is new to me. Will hop on when I next go to KL, which will not be anytime soon as I start preparing for my son's delivery.

    Have a great day ahead, my Happy friend. Seeing your blog posts always gives me a smile! =)

  10. that worst ranking in the world, it is actually an old news. it was already published in 2008. the star was very slow to expose it.

    the star news last sunday was good but they stop short to criticise SPAD zero action.

    i think you should read this brilliant article. hard-hitting review. hitting both taxi drivers and SPAD zero action. good read too.

  11. I may give GO a try :)