The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has gotten the go-ahead from Cabinet to begin regulating ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab.
The decision was made yesterday in the weekly Cabinet meeting, meaning that from now on these services would officially be part of the public transport landscape in the various cities where they already operate.
Besides regulations, SPAD’s proposal also contained suggestions to revamp existing taxi services.
According to SPAD, the proposal detailed solutions to uplift the level of service quality and encourage healthy competition within the industry.
According to Free Malaysia Today, the presentation by SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah covered 11 initiatives, including moves to improve the Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M) model, streamline the budget cab fleet and a suggestion for a special fund for new taxi vehicles, as reported by The Sun.
Another step forward for the taxi industry proposed was the move to issue taxi permits to individuals, especially existing taxi drivers who have a good and clean track record.
The existing taxi companies will remain, but SPAD hopes to implement a new mechanism to help these companies improve on their operations and services.
Nationwide, there are about 77,000 registered taxi drivers currently.
SPAD will now work on the necessary amendments to existing laws and possible enactment of new ones for the relevant government agencies towards legalising Uber and Grab at the next Parliament sitting in November.
SPAD said an estimated 150,000 new individual taxi, Uber and Grab drivers are expected to be providing services to the public over the next three years with the new laws in place.
It said all details agreed upon would be made known to the relevant stakeholders – taxi associations, taxi companies, Uber, Grab – before an announcement will be made to the public.