The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had seized 55 private vehicles used as unlicensed taxis in the Klang Valley since October 2014, said enforcement department head Datuk Paduka Che Hasni Che Ahmad. Another 89 cases were also detected in the same period, The Star reports.

Speaking after leading an enforcement team that is part of Ops Serkap at Pudu Sentral last week, Che Hasni noted that many were getting customers using smartphone applications.

“Using a smartphone application does not mean that they can become a taxi driver. The vehicle is illegal and does not have a permit issued by SPAD, which means there is no insurance coverage for passengers,” he said.

Taxi Drivers Protest Against GrabCar 2

This will be welcomed by taxi drivers, some of whom staged a second protest against private driver apps such as GrabCar and Uber last week. Some claimed that their income had dropped by more than half since the MyTeksi-owned GrabCar service was introduced.

MyTeksi responded by saying that it was willing to discuss the matter with its pool of taxi drivers and regulators such as the Transport Ministry and SPAD to relook current laws and regulations. A MyTeksi rep added that the company’s internal studies showed that a taxi driver can earn up to RM3,120 a month if signed up with MyTeksi, which the cabbies refuted.

SPAD stressed then that the use of private vehicles to carry fare-paying passengers is an offence under the Land Public Transport Act 2010. It also cautioned that drivers of any vehicle who collect fares must have the Public Service Licence, while the vehicle itself must be licensed by SPAD with proper insurance coverage for the protection of fare-paying passengers.