11 April 2017
PETALING JAYA: The re-classification of taxi licences is receiving mixed responses from taxi operators.
Big Blue Taxi Service founder Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail said he supported the industry’s transformation programme, saying that it would reduce the cost of operating taxis, encourage new and safer cars “and ensure that the industry can survive another five years more.”
However, he feared operators who were required to reclassify their taxi licences would have to buy a new car and have it fit within the new classification.
“The circular did not specify the cars,” he said. “For example, I take a seven-year hire purchase loan for a Toyota Innova and I need to reclassify my licence before my loan tenure ends, does that mean that I need to get a new car for the new licence?
“If so, who will pay for the rest of my loan?” Shamsubahrin asked, adding that most loan tenure were for between seven and nine years.
Federal Territory and Selangor Taxi Operators president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said the re-classification of licences made things simpler, akin to that of Singapore’s two-licence system.
Even so, Aslah was unhappy that the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) did not meet them to explain the reasons behind the re-classification.
He pointed out that taxi operators were unsure whether re-classification would also entail a change in the fare structure.
“We want more discussion with SPAD. Right now, they only ask us to visit the website for the circular.
“They will not teach us. They just say: you go learn lah!” said an exasperated Aslah.
He pointed out that the livelihood of 30,000 taxi operators in the Klang Valley, as well as another 30,000 across the country, were at stake here, adding that they were still unsure how the change would affect them.
“We don’t know what is going to happen,” he said. “We need to hold a discussion with our members and SPAD.”