Devil is in the detail of SPAD’s taxi transformation plan

Ajit-Johl

PETALING JAYA: The Public Transport Users Association (4PAM) has welcomed the taxi transformation plan of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), but lamented the lack of details on its implementation and enforcement.

In a statement, 4PAM President Ajit Johl said while the Taxi Industry Transformation Plan (TITP) was the way forward, the “devil lay in the detail”.

He noted that a major area of concern was passenger safety and there seemed to be little mention of it in SPAD’s media release on the TITP.

“We will need more details and in-depth studies on it. We hope SPAD will take this opportunity to involve stakeholders before implementing it.”

He also said the plan needed strict enforcement and hoped that by ensuring a level playing field, the industry would be given room to self-regulate.

On a positive note, Ajit said liberalising the vehicle model choice for taxi operators should be followed by the abolition of import duties on these vehicles used as taxis.

This would allow for better cars to be imported at a lower cost, he added.

“Public transport is a subsidised industry and vehicles used for public transport should be tax exempted.”

On the standardised taxi contract, Ajit said that passengers’ safety and comfort must also be given importance by taxi drivers and operators.

“We also demand that directors of taxi companies be held accountable for the actions of drivers.

“This will ensure better scrutiny of drivers selected by the operator.”

Ajit also welcomed the move to reduce the fare for Teksi 1 Malaysia (TEKS1M) taxis, saying it was way overdue.

He added that 4PAM would also like to see the setting up of an Annual Tariff Review Committee, comprising all stakeholders, so that tariffs could be reviewed on an annual basis.

Earlier today, SPAD unveiled the TITP to introduce industry-wide reforms to create a fair playing field that benefited drivers, operators and passengers.

The four key principles of the TITP leverage on technology; improving taxi drivers’ income and welfare; improving taxi drivers’ service quality; and rationalising taxi fares.