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The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) today officially unveiled the Toyota Innova as a Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M) vehicle, joining fellow MPV Proton Exora as a brown cab. The handover ceremony was attended by taxi group representatives and associations.

It is hoped that the introduction of the Innova to the fleet will boost the number of TEKS1Ms operating in Klang Valley, Johor and Penang. The move is part of SPAD’s taxi industry transformation initiative.

“The Toyota Innova fulfils the criteria set by SPAD, especially in spaciousness, and it will be an additional option for taxi owners under the TEKS1M initiative,” said UMWT president Datuk Ismet Suki, who added that his company has received 300 orders for the Innova TEKS1M. UMWT is targeting sales of 700 units until the end of 2015.

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Click to enlarge spec sheet

The Innova is powered by a 136 PS/182 Nm 2.0 litre engine, and can be had with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox in pre-facelift TEKS1M spec.

With excise duty exemption, the MT is priced at RM72,551 and the AT costs RM75,333, OTR with GST and insurance (company commercial). Regular prices for the facelifted Innova are RM97,998 and RM102,831 for the 2.0E MT and 2.0E AT respectively (metallic, company private).

“When taxi service standards improve, the number of taxi passengers will also rise and so will the income of taxi drivers. In all of SPAD’s upgrade plans, we take into consideration all parties, taxi drivers and users alike. It will be a win-win situation where the driver gets better earnings and the rider enjoys a more comfortable service,” said SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

SPAD is running a TEKS1M driver training programme in stages. Involving individual drivers as well as those who have migrated to TEKS1M, the “Profession Advancement Programme” is to raise awareness in terms of laws as well as driver ethics, while also raising professionalism in drivers.

Training modules include safety and courteous driving, techniques for service excellence, effective communications with passengers, financial planning and more. SPAD has so far trained 1,021 drivers, and the aim is for TEKS1M to be the best in its class in Asia by 2017.