PETALING JAYA: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is working to regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber and GrabCar.
“But it will take time,” a spokesman for SPAD said, pointing out that the vehicles provided by these services did not have the right licences to pick up passengers.
SPAD also said that it knew of the problems in the taxi business and that was why it was seeking a solution to improve driver income and welfare.
The spokesman said the industry was starting to respond to new technology and changes in consumer demand.
“This can be seen from the recent introduction of mobile applications by taxi associations and companies,” he said.
Fomca secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the legalisation of these services should be done so that the public could be protected when using them.
Malaysians were keen to use ride-hailing services because they were satisfied with the convenience and sometimes cheaper costs, he said.
“Taxi drivers these days also have their own apps. So if their services are good, then their customers will be happy,” he said.
Universiti Malaya’s Prof Dr Mohamed Rehan Karim said the Government must solve the problems faced by taxi drivers and the drivers who operate through ride-hailing apps.
“If the Government wants the public to use ride-hailing apps, then the drivers should be registered or be required to apply for a taxi driver’s licence,” he said.
He said that since taxi services were regulated, ride-hailing apps drivers should be subjected to the same.
“Then it won‘t be a problem,” he said, adding that it only became an issue when “individuals like you and me can use ride-hailing apps to get passengers without being properly licensed taxi drivers”.
An industry expert, who did not want to be named, said it was vital for drivers using ride-hailing apps to be legalised.
Once there was an acceptable level of services provided, it should then be left to market forces, he said.
He also said taxi drivers must realise that they have to improve their services.
“That is what consumers want,” he added.
He said taxis have been around for a long time and now “we need to see how much initiative taxi drivers have”.
This was what the industry should focus on, demonstrations do not benefit anyone, he said.
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