Push for change: Syed Hamid speaking to reporters at the commission’s office while Mohd Nur Ismal looks on.
KUALA LUMPUR: All budget and executive taxi operators with permits expiring by Oct 31 must change their vehicles to the brown Proton Exora.
The move under a taxi migration scheme of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will see 2,604 drivers using the brown Exora by the end of the year.
SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said those with permits expiring between May 1 and Oct 31 would be allowed to use whatever car they had until November.
“As of May 1, those who have to change are given six months to migrate to the new taxi ... We’ll give an extension. We hope they will (change their taxis),” he told reporters at the SPAD headquarters yesterday.
The move is expected to affect 42,642 budget and executive taxi drivers across peninsular Malaysia by 2024.
Given that taxi permits have a 10-year lifespan, the last non-Proton Exora taxi is expected to disappear from Malaysia’s streets by the end of 2024.
As of mid-April, there were 539 people driving the brown Exora which was launched under the Teksi 1Malaysia (Teks1m) initiative last year.
In 2013, SPAD announced that the brown Proton Exora – a 1.6-litre MPV model – would eventually become Malaysia’s flagship taxi, replacing all other city taxi types.
Drivers in the country, especially in the Klang Valley, use nearly a dozen taxi colours and half as many car models, which SPAD said was confusing to passengers.
Syed Hamid said that in five years, nearly half of all those driving a budget or executive taxi today would change their cars to the brown Exora.
As of April 24, SPAD recorded 75,550 taxis in the peninsula, including 39,531 budget, 3,111 executive, 3,132 airport and 996 limousine taxis, as well as 11,402 hire-drive and 17,378 hired cars.
The majority of the country’s taxis operate in the Klang Valley, with 51,550 taxis recorded, including 32,278 budget taxis. There are 4,922 and 1,126 budget taxis in Johor and Penang respectively.
On another matter, Syed Hamid said a public transport fare structure – covering buses, trains and taxis – would be presented to the Economic Council “in a few days”.
He added that a rationalisation of public transport fares also did not mean that fares would go up, although Syed Hamid declined to comment on prices.
When asked when an announcement would be made, SPAD chief executive Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said “the decision will be soon, but the implementation ... we’re not sure how long it will take.”