KUALA LUMPUR: There are over 37,000 taxis in the Klang Valley, a number which the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) feels is too big for the city.
SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the commission could not issue new licences because of this.
“According to our studies, there are too many taxis. That's why we've not issued any new licences and we have to rationalise and consolidate (this number),” he said at the SPAD headquarters.
However, Syed Hamid said SPAD had to be careful in downsizing the local taxi population.
“We need to be careful. We don't want to victimise anybody, so we're being cautious about it,” he said, adding that SPAD would issue licences if the need for drivers arose.
Other major cities around the world, in comparison, appear to have fewer cabbies than Malaysia.
New York and Jakarta (Blue Bird cabs), for instance, have 13,000 and 17,000 taxis, respectively.
Syed Hamid said this after a lunch meeting with over 500 taxi drivers here.
During the lunch, SPAD officials were seen talking to cabbies and jotting down their grouses.
Syed Hamid said many people had a negative perception of cabbies and he hoped the taxi drivers would work with SPAD to change this view.
“It is our job to make taxi services here among the best in the world,” he said.
A public transport source told The Star that the Government was planning to roll out 20 types of “positive measures” for taxi drivers' benefits.
On another matter, Syed Hamid said local cabs were being readied for the Visit Malaysia 2014 tourism campaign and hoped potential tourists would not only use but enjoy taxi services.
Syed Hamid said a vendor had been chosen to handle the School Children Insurance Coverage Scheme for buses but declined to say more on the matter.