Cabinet gives approval for Uber, Grab

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PETALING JAYA: The Cabinet has given the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) the go-ahead to regulate Uber and Grab.

With the decision, made yesterday at the weekly Cabinet meeting, the ride-sharing services would be officially part of the public transport landscape in the various cities where they already operate.

Aside from regulating the ride sharing services, the proposal from SPAD presented to the Cabinet yesterday included revamping the existing taxi services in the country, The Sun reported.

The presentation by SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah covered 11 initiatives, one of which was to improve the Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M) model, streamline the budget cabs fleet and a suggestion for a special fund for new taxi vehicles, the report said.

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.

According to The Sun, there are around 77,000 registered taxi drivers nationwide at present.

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.

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, according to the presentation from SPAD.

Further to the Cabinet decision, a SPAD spokesman told the local daily that all details agreed upon would be made known to the relevant stakeholders – taxi associations, taxi companies, Uber, Grab – before an announcement is made to the public.