The government will be tabling amendments to the Land Public Transport Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987 next year to enable implementation of the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme (TITP), which would include regulating taxi service using e-hailing applications such as Uber and GrabCar.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri said the move to regulate is appropriate to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers.
Nancy said the implementation of e-hailing in the country was based on the high demand by consumers and the growing use of mobile technology in daily activities.
According to a report by Bernama, the government has found more than 50% of taxi passengers in Malaysia are using mobile applications to obtain taxi while only 14% of taxi drivers are inclined to use applications to get passengers.
Therefore, the e-hailing service should not be seen as competition to conventional taxis but should be seen as an opportunity for taxi drivers to complement and balance the demand and trend in the market.
Nancy said an online research showed over 70% of the 45,000 respondents wanted e-hailing services to be implemented and regulated, while 59% of the application users have never used taxi services.
“This shows there is new demand for clients from the mobile application segment.
“This is an opportunity for the industry to expand,” she said.
TITP is an overall initiative to specially focus on improving the income and welfare of taxi drivers and to deliver quality service by using technology.
The programme was formulated to create a healthy and ideal taxi industry environment for drivers, passengers and operators.
Land Public Transport Commission chairman (SPAD) Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar has earlier been reported as saying the amendments would require companies offering e-hailing services to be incorporates, and all drivers using the applications would be required to have a driver’s card issued by SPAD.