Cheaper TEKS1M rides

KUALA LUMPUR: The fare for Teksi 1Malaysia (TEKS1M) will be cheaper beginning next month.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah said the fare structure for TEKS1M will be rationalised to the current budget fare.

"The existing TEKS1M fleet will have the option of remaining at the present fare structure until the expiry of the vehicle age limit," he said.

Currently, the TEKS1M fare starts from RM4, with 30 sen for every 200m while the budget taxi flagfall rate starts from RM3 with 25 sen for every 200m.

The time-based charge for budget taxis is 25 sen for every 36 seconds while it is 30 sen for every 36 seconds for TEKS1M.

New budget cabs will also be rebranded as TEKS1M with a primary image of red and white starting from next month.

It is part of the TEKS1M rebranding and streamlining process with budget cabs under the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme (TITP).

The new TEKS1M fleet will no longer be in gold and brown.

Existing budget taxis however will not go through the rebranding. They will remain as they are — whether they are yellow, red and white, or green.

The rebranding is only for new taxis, especially those with a new individual taxi operator licence.

Existing taxis will only go through the rebranding when their taxi permits expire and those with Proton Iswaras must change to new taxis with a minimum three-star Asean NCAP safety ratings.

Under the RM150 million fund allocation by the government as "seed money" for cabbies, new cab owners awarded the individual taxi operator licence by SPAD will be allowed to purchase new models other than Proton cars.

It is estimated that around 25,000 new individual operating licences will be issued to cabbies with good track records in the next five years by SPAD with around 2,000 new individual licences to be awarded by year-end.

It is learned that SPAD and the Finance Ministry are negotiating with financial institutions to provide attractive loan packages to cabbies as well as requesting for leniency to approve applications.

It is also learned that the RM5,000 deposit to purchase a new taxi will only be given to cabbies who have already secured bank loans.

Mohd Azharuddin also confirmed that the zonal fare system which was gazetted during the previous Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board era, will be phased out gradually.

"Zonal fare will be replaced by a distance based calculation to ensure consistency and fairness to taxi drivers at terminals and airports," he said, adding that cabbies are encouraged to embrace booking apps to increase efficiency.

The zonal fare queue system is currently practised by the KL International Airport, Skypark Subang, KL Sentral, other international entry points in the Peninsula and shopping malls in the Klang Valley.