The Sabah Taxi Fare Calculator is a handy tool for helping you calculate what a taxi journey in Kota Kinabalu should cost.
It excludes to/from the airport, which is regulated separately.
Start typing the name of your destination, and then origin…
I’ll admit, this post is old, and the calculator is based on a fare structure that was mandated by the government and last verified in 2017.
Fair Taxi Fares History
It used to be that taxi rates in Kota Kinabalu were regulated by law. That law used to be the LPKP, which is the Sabah Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board. Many years ago, however, taxis in Malaysia became a law unto themselves.
For decades (and that’s not hyperbole) there was a law that said “use the meter at this rate”, and there were taxi drivers who said “no, we’ll charge what we like”. Across Malaysia they would simply put a hat over the meter, and happily charge whatever they want, fearless of absent law enforcement.
Taxi Driver Extinction Event
Alas, technology caught up with the taxi industry in the whole of Malaysia really, as customers flocked to e-hailing services. Suddenly taxis were the push of a button away, they came to you, you could see the rate before hand, and your ride was confirmed.
I’m sure the drop in revenue for traditional taxi drivers was audible. Poor taxi drivers felt hard done by this, of course, and at one point even tried to strike. Alas, this all but blew up in their faces, as it further illustrated that society was actually perfectly fine without their gangster brand of business.
Ever since, it’s been a political battle of survival for old-school taxi drivers, who now survive by perpetually moaning about an un-level playing field, begging politicians to hamstring e-hailing services to make it easier for traditional taxis.
I would be surprised if these rates are still current, but this is what the calculator above is based on…
- RM10 for the first 3km or 9 mins, and then
- 12c for every 100m or 18 seconds after that.
Complaints About Taxis
Although the LPKP was fully aware taxi drivers flouted the law by never using the meters, they still wanted passengers to complain about individual incidents with more information that what most people care to gather. And in the end, it was often for nothing, as nothing ever changed.
If you still want to bother complaining, then email email@example.com, or call 1-800-88-4266 or +60 88 238 244.
Provide as much info as possible: your name, contact details, the taxi’s license plate number, driver’s name, date, time and location of the incident.
The calculations for taxi prices on this page are based on this PDF (PDF download, 20kb, hosted here on SabahBah.com), which used to be available on the governing body website, the LPKP. Although there are still bus rates published on that site, it’s not even clear if they still regulate taxis at all; no links could be found.
Old & New
Since Nov 2017 SabahBah has been unable to establish a new government source online. The last source listed above was most recently accessed, and the price components verified, on 3 Aug 2017.
Since the introduction of ride-hailing apps, the taxi associations in Sabah have cried crocodile tears about lost business, and how unfair it is that they’re not a monopoly that can charge what they want anymore.
Because taxis in Sabah seem to wield government-like powers (especially when elections are looming), chances are things are changing (in their favour), so the prices are, now more than ever, just a guideline.