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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

New regulations are being put in place by SPAD to allow e-hailing service operators to function within a legal framework

 Image result for SPAD GRAB UBER
SPAD announces new rules for taxi, e-hailing services

By Jerry Choong
The Malay Mail OnlineAugust 2, 2017
MalayMailOnline




KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — New regulations are being put in place to allow e-hailing service operators to function within a legal framework, while levelling the playing field for taxis.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah announced the regulations yesterday, following the approval of the Land Public Transport (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 in Parliament on Thursday.

“Firstly, the Bill makes it compulsory for e-hailing operators to obtain an Intermediation Business Licence (IBL) from the commission in order to operate legally,” he said.

The IBL concerns aspects including licence renewal, revocation or suspension of licence, prohibiting licence transferring, and the duty of the IBL's holder.

“The e-hailing regulations prioritises the safety of the public, with the proposed policies being insurance coverage of passengers, the driver and their vehicle, as well as third parties,” said Azharuddin.

“Other policies include a mandatory SOS button on e-hailing apps in case of an emergency, as well as stringent screening of drivers to be conducted by SPAD, police and the Road Transport Department.”

The commission began the process by requesting the data of drivers from the operators since June 16.

Azharuddin said the operators have been cooperative in doing this for the estimated 180,000 e-hailing drivers nationwide, of whom 70 per cent are part-timers.

One aspect Azharuddin explained in detail was when an individual submitted his or her application to become an e-hailing driver.

He said as long as their vehicle was registered with the RTD in less than three-years, they were not required to undergo the annual inspection at the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre (Puspakom).

“If the vehicle was registered over that period then the vehicle must undergo inspection, usually during the application process to become an e-hailing driver,” he said.

“However, based on our discussions with the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, the vehicle which is being registered as an e-hailing car, for safety reasons, must be a minimum of five-years-old.”

The second part concerns the pajak (pawn) contracts between taxi drivers and licensed taxi operators. Azharuddin said prior to the Bill, SPAD had no say in such agreements and it was solely between the cab drivers and their companies.

“Many cabbies have complained to us over the one-sided nature of pajak, which they felt unfairly favoured the companies. The commission will now be able to prescribe its form and content, providing a more level and balanced contract for the cabbies' benefit,” he said.

The pajak contract's proposed improvements include exempting drivers from having to pay rent on days when their vehicles have to undergo Puspakom inspection, or on annual or sick leave, capping the penalty imposed on early termination of contract, driver's personal insurance, and for companies to supply their drivers' with uniforms.

“Drivers who complete their leasing terms under the pajak contract with taxi companies are eligible for individual taxi licences, as per the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme which was announced by the Cabinet in August last year,” said Azharuddin.

He said that from last September to Monday, SPAD had received 3,474 individual taxi licence applications, with 1,722 approvals.

“The pajak contract is usually for a minimum of seven years, and upon completion each cabbie is given a RM5,000 cash grant to encourage them to purchase new vehicles.

“During the same period as the applications, RM2.15 million in cash grant were given to 431 driver,” said Azharuddin.

The Bill will be presented to the Dewan Negara later this month, before being submitted for Royal Assent. It is expected to be gazetted in October

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