SPAD has introduced many initiatives aimed at improving the Malaysian taxi industry to meet the needs and expectations of passengers under the Taxi Transformation Programme, a key component of the National Key Results Areas for Urban Public Transport (NKRA-UPT). The Programme began with the Teksi Rakyat 1Malaysia (TR1Ma) in 2012, which provided 76,000 drivers with:
- Vouchers for new tyres
- Personal Accident Insurance Coverage (PA)
- Road tax exemption
- 50% toll subsidies
- Excise and sales tax exemption (for individual license holders)
Recognising the plight of the taxi drivers and the need for taxi fares to be reviewed to reflect current operating costs, the Commission conducted a nationwide engagement exercise with key stakeholders resulting in the taxi fare restructuring exercise in March 2015.
Following this, SPAD commissioned a taxi lab in December 2015, which focused on realigning the industry to meet today’s demands. These included discovering the optimal business model for the industry, identifying ways to increase service availability during peak times, and encouraging the uptake of technological innovations. From the discussions held in the Taxi Lab five main themes emerged, which SPAD has undertaken in its bid to transform the industry:
- Improving the individual taxi driver’s welfare and increasing their income;
- Embracing technology to improve service reliability;
- Streamlining airport taxi operations;
- Improving the quality of taxi drivers and their behaviour; and
- Standardising the taxi industry’s key features and services to improve efficiency
At present, SPAD is working towards streamlining local taxi services by making major changes including amending relevant parts of the Land Public Transport Act 2010 (APAD 2010). This exercise will include a comprehensive regulatory review on the taxi industry, with a view of consumer-focused regulation that simultaneously does not inhibit innovation or protect existing business models. By conducting the Taxi Lab SPAD is able to revisit existing licencing policies, improve enforcement programmes and subsequently; create a level playing field for all parties in the taxi industry.