The government has identified several problems bogging the taxi industry, such as an archaic business model, maintenance costs which exceeded income, as well as the quality of drivers and standard of vehicles.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohammad Najib Tun Abdul Razak said the various steps and decisions taken by the government to transform the taxi service industry are to ensure that it continues to be progressive.
He said the taxi industry played an important role as the first and last mile connectivity, but its service must be upgraded further with the latest business practices in line with technological advancements.
Other problems include the absence of centralised monitoring, unsatisfactory public perception and the challenges of new innovations such as e-hailing.
The government has introduced many initiatives to help the industry solve these problems and improve the service quality, including the Teksi Rakyat 1Malaysia (TR1Ma), Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M), the 2015 Fare Review and the 2015 Taxi Industry Laboratory.
Najib said although the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had been appointed to lead the changes in the taxi industry, the overall transformation could only be carried out with the cooperation of all parties concerned.
“The reality is that all changes will surely face many challenges, especially when we want to transform a service which is long-entrenched and comfortable with the traditional ways.
“To progress, we have to move in tune with today’s technology and innovations, and we must focus on making our service consumer-friendly and on par with other countries in the world,” he said.