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All budget and executive taxi operators with permits expiring October 31 this year must change their cars to a brown Proton Exora, according to a report by The Star.

The move, part of a taxi migration scheme by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), will see 2,604 drivers in Malaysia using the brown Exora by the end of the year, and is expected to affect over 42,000 taxi drivers across Peninsular Malaysia.

However, those with permits expiring between May 1 and October 31 would be allowed to carry on with whatever car they had until November, The Star quoted SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar as saying.

“As of May 1, those who have to change are given six months to migrate to the new taxi… we’ll give an extension. We hope they will (change their taxis),” he said.

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The Proton Exora Teksi 1Malaysia was launched in April 2013. The price of the taxi was revealed at the time to be in the region of RM64,000, before a RM5,000 government grant disbursed by the 1Malaysia Development Board.

The Star reports that as of mid-April, there were 539 drivers of the brown Exora taxi. Given that taxi permits last 10 years, the last taxi that isn’t an Exora is expected to disappear from the roads by end-2024.

Drivers, particularly in the Klang Valley, have been known to use nearly a dozen taxi colours and half as many car models, which SPAD said was confusing to passengers.

Syed Hamid told the English-language daily that in five years, nearly half of all those driving a budget or executive taxi today would change their cars to the brown Exora.