After objections by various quarters, Segi Astana Sdn Bhd, operator of the gateway@klia2 integrated complex decided that car drivers only need to pay RM5 for entry into the transportation hub and no extra charge will be imposed for waiting.
In an earlier announcement, drivers must pay RM5 for entry and exit within five minutes or be charged additional RM10 for another five minutes’ wait, causing a furore among e-hailing drivers, passengers and concerned members of the public.
Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB), which owns 30% of Segi Astana, issued a statement to refute allegation that diverting e-hailing cars into the transportation hub was a way to generate additional revenue. Segi Istana clarified the arrangement was to ensure passengers are picked up in a safe and convenient environment.
If that is the main intention, then there should be no payment for entry into the transportation hub and charges imposed only for exceeding reasonable waiting time, which differs according to the size of passenger vehicles.
For cars, including limousine taxis, the first five minutes should be free and after that RM1 per minute can be charged. For vans, including those licensed under Bas Persiaran, it should be 10 minutes free and RM1 per minute thereafter. For tour buses, it should be 15 minutes to allow time for drivers to load or unload suitcases for large tour groups.
Currently, tour vans and buses can only pick up or drop off passengers at KLIA2 inside the transportation hub, and vans are charged RM4 per entry and buses RM8, with 15 minutes waiting time.
But if e-hailing vehicles are now allowed to wait indefinitely without incurring additional charges after paying RM5 entry free, then the transportation hub will be jam-packed with cars in no time, rendering it almost impossible for tour buses and vans to enter or exit smoothly.
If e-hailing apps automatically detect the nearest vehicle available, then there is no reason for drivers to wait a kilometre away. Almost all of them will wait and park their cars inside the transportation hub, right under the nose of passengers making a booking.
It appears that Segi Astana has thrown discretion to the wind and still bent on collecting entry charges after successfully channelling all tour buses, vans and now e-hailing vehicles into the transportation hub.
This is despite Transport Minister Anthony Loke saying during a recent press conference that MAHB should not charge e-hailing riders for picking up passengers at KLIA and KLIA2.
The views expressed here are those of The True Net reader YS Chan from Petaling Jaya.