The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) was officially established on 3 June 2010 following the passing of the Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat Act 2010 by Parliament in May 2010. SPAD gained its full powers on 31 January 2011 with the gazetting of the Land Public Transport Act 2010.
SPAD, which comes directly under the purview of the Prime Minister, brings the functions of drawing up policies, planning and regulating all aspects of train, bus and taxi services as well as road- and rail-based freight transport under one roof. SPAD also has enforcement powers which it will carry out with close cooperation with other enforcement agencies such as the Royal Malaysian Police and the Road Transport Department.
SPAD will play a central role in improving road and rail-based public and freight transport in the country. The Land Public Transport Act 2010 expressly states that SPAD shall propose policies and plans in relation to or affecting land public transport, and develop strategies in line with the approved policies and plans with a view to achieving a safe, reliable, efficient, responsive, accessible, planned, integrated and sustainable land public transport, while ensuring the provision of affordable services for the carriage of passengers and competitive services for the carriage of goods. Improving public transport is in line with one of the National Key Results Areas in the Government Transformation Plan initiated by Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak in 2009.
With the coming into force of the Land Public Transport Act 2010, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) takes over the functions of Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board, Department of Railways and the tourism vehicles licensing function of the Ministry of Tourism in Peninsula Malaysia. At present, the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board, Department of Railways and the Ministry of Tourism continue to exercise their respective powers in Sabah and Sarawak.