December 2, 2021
JOHOR BARU: The implementation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane for land crossings (VTL-Land) has given hope to taxi and e-hailing drivers here who have been struggling to get customers for months.
Taxi driver Zulkifli Zainudin said the number of passengers had increased by about 20% although the VTL was only launched on Monday.
“We’ve started to see some improvement since the land VTL took effect on Monday. Although the increase in the number of passengers is not that significant, it is still better than before when we could barely get one passenger despite waiting an entire day.
“Since Monday, I have been getting between one and two passengers from Singapore,” he said in an interview at the Larkin Sentral Bus and Public Transportation Terminal here.
Zulkifli, 60, said he hoped to see more improvement in the weeks to come.
Another taxi driver, Rahmat Jamil, 64, agreed, adding that he was grateful to finally be able to earn a decent income.
“The increase in the number of passengers may not be significant but I am very grateful as I can at least afford to cover my costs.
“Although VTL-Land has only been implemented for a few days, the difference is a lot compared to when the interstate and inter-district travel bans were lifted,” he said.
E-hailing driver Jackie Cheng, 38 said he expected the number of people using e-hailing and taxi services to increase over the next few weeks.
“On the first day of VTL-Land, many e-hailing drivers waited outside Larkin Sentral in the hope of getting passengers.
“However, only a handful managed to get customers as most travellers had their family and friends pick them up.
“I think we can only see major changes after at least a week or two of the VTL-Land implementation,” he added.
Another e-hailing driver, Sam Sim, 49, said he had been dropping by Larkin Sentral daily since Monday to look for passengers from Singapore.
“So far, the number of passengers is still lower than I expected but I am hopeful that this will slowly increase.
“For now, most of my customers are still from around Johor Baru,” he added.