Friday January 25, 2013
Industry associations view the permit system as unfair
TAXI associations in the Klang Valley have called on the Government to put an end to the monopoly of taxi permits by private companies and award them to individual drivers instead.
With more than 60% of taxi permits held by private companies, taxi associations said the current system of hire-purchase practised by taxi companies was too costly and had become a major burden for drivers who had been struggling to make ends meet in light of escalating cost of living.
“This is a monopoly and it must end,” said KL Sentral Taxi Drivers Association president Badrol Hisham Mohd Noor.
“Taxi drivers who rent permits from taxi companies have to pay higher interest rates than hire-purchase loans from the banks.
“Clearly, this system is one-sided and should be done away with,” he added.
Badrol Hisham conceded that there was an oversupply of taxis in the Klang Valley and the number should be reduced.
“We only need about 25,000 taxis — that is the ideal number. Anything more will only serve to create bad apples,” he said.
Badrol Hisham suggested that Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) downsize the number of taxis by re-calling the permits of those who had rented them out to third parties and give to deserving applicants.
“There are many cases of individuals renting out their permits to third parties. Some of them are foreigners who are not allowed to drive taxis in the first place,’’ he said.
Federal Territory and Selangor Association of Taxi Operators and Hire Cars president Datuk Aslah Abdullah agreed with Badrol Hisham that there were too many taxis in the city.
“The blame lies with the previous government agency, the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, for issuing 10,500 taxi permits in 2010 before SPAD took over,” Aslah said.
Meanwhile, according to an industry source, SPAD is in negotiations with several taxi companies to get them to voluntarily relinquish some 1,000 taxi permits back to the commission.
“SPAD is trying to appeal for this on a goodwill basis as the companies have been raking in millions for many years now and it is time for them to give something back.
“The commission is also looking at taking back permits from non-active drivers; it is the only way we can think of issuing permits to deserving drivers without adding to the glut,” the source said.
SPAD recently reported that there were 37,000 taxis in the Klang Valley and it could not issue new licences because of this.