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Published: Tuesday April 29, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday April 29, 2014 MYT 7:38:48 AM

Crackdown on unlicensed cars taking calls via apps

Taxi driver Wong Hao Min showing the handphone app GrabTaxi which helps him find passengers and boost his earnings. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Taxi driver Wong Hao Min showing the handphone app GrabTaxi which helps him find passengers and boost his earnings. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

AS phone apps for booking a taxi or a limo get more popular, drivers with rental cars are also jumping in to grab these calls, according to car rental industry sources.

These drivers are breaking the law prompting the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to act.

LTA officials met car rental companies and taxi operators last week to remind them of the rules, the second time it has done so in less than a year.

Other than taxis, only company-owned vehicles insured as limousines and driven by its employees are allowed under the law to ferry passengers for a fee.

This rule is to ensure passengers are covered by insurance should something go wrong during the journey.

A commuter, who declined to be named, posted on Facebook that she booked a cab through GrabTaxi last Monday, but a Ford car turned up. She had no qualms hopping in but she would advise children to decline.

Regular cab commuter Lau Sau Kuen said she would steer clear of the new taxi alternatives for now but would reconsider only if the authorities put in adequate measures to “secure public confidence” in the new services.

Meanwhile, the Singapore general manager of app GrabTaxi, Lim Kell Jay, said its services were above board as his company ties up with “various limo companies” to provide an alternative to taxis. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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