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The Land Public Transport Commission (or better known by its malay acronym "SPAD") has replaced the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (“CVLB”) as the agency that governs taxis in Malaysia.
The definition of what constitutes a taxi is as follows:
“A motor vehicle which can seat no more than 6 passengers (including the driver), which is used for the purpose of transporting passengers on any type of journey in return for a fee. The engine capacity of the vehicle must not be less than 1450cc, must use a meter, has an operating zone, with controlled rates / charges, and the age of the vehicle must be no older than 7 years.”
There are a few operating zones for taxis throughout the country, but in Selangor, the major operating zone that the general tourist would encounter is known as the Klang Valley zone. ("Lembah Kelang" in malay). You will see the words "Lembah Kelang" on the front doors of the taxis operating in this zone.
The Klang Valley is an area that is named after the Klang river, the principal river that runs through the valley towards the coast. Geographically it is delineated by the Titiwangsa mountain range to the east and the north, the Straits of Malacca to the west and the town of Seremban in neighbouring Negeri Sembilan state to the south. In effect, the Klang Valley covers the whole of Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, and the Selangor districts of Petaling, Klang, Gombak, Hulu Langat and Sepang.
Three categories of taxies generally exist throughout Malaysia:
1) Budget – engine capacity between 1500 – 2000 cc. (Klang Valley taxis can only operate in the Klang Valley zone, but not from the airport). The colour of budget taxis are as follows:
a) Red-and-white, or in the colours of the Malaysian flag (!) - red,white & blue complete with yellow crescent moon & star;
b) Red-and-blue (individually owned taxis)
c) Corporate colours are allowed for a taxi company with more than 250 vehicles in its fleet. eg. All yellow (Uptown Ace), All red (Public Cab), All orange (Inovasi Timur), etc.
2) Premier – engine capacity above 2000 cc. (Klang Valley taxis can only operate in the Klang Valley zone, but not from the airport). This category of taxi has been discontinued by SPAD.
3) Executive – engine capacity above 2000 cc and can operate throughout the whole peninsular (but not from the airport). The colour of the taxi is dark blue.
In the Klang Valley operating zone, all taxis are supposed to use the meter and haggling / negotiating over fares are supposed to be illegal.
Budget taxis charge according to the following approved metered rates:
Distance - RM3.00 for the first kilometre, RM0.10 for every subsequent 115 metres
Time (when stationary / traffic jam) - RM3.00 for the first three minutes, RM0.10 for every subsequent 21 seconds
Other charges: 50% surcharge between 12am to 6am, actual toll charges need to be paid, RM2.00 for telephone bookings, RM12 airport surcharge for taxis going to KLIA-Main Terminal and LCCT (but not Subang Skypark).
Executive taxis charge higher meter rates:
Distance - Not more than RM6.00 for the first kilometre, no more than RM0.20 for every subsequent 100 metres
Time (when stationary / traffic jam - Not more than RM6.00 for the first two minutes, no more than RM0.20 for every subsequent 21 seconds
Airport taxies are a different category of taxies that are strictly for bringing passengers to and from an airport in return for a fixed fee. The taxies operate from a base in an approved vicinity within the airport. Three categories of airport taxies exist, namely:
1) Budget (typically 3 passengers but some vehicle models may be able to take 4 passengers, maximum of 2 medium size luggage bags and 1 hand luggage)
2) Premier (for not more than 4 passengers, maximum of 3 medium size luggage bags and 2 hand luggage)
3) Family (for 5-9 passengers and 6 medium size luggage bags)
The above are not hard-and-fast rules for determining which airport taxi you are asked to take, and will generally be to the discretion of the taxi counter clerk. Yes, airport taxies use the coupon system, whereby you purchase fixed-rate coupons from a taxi counter at the airport terminal. The coupons are then handed over by you to the taxi-driver at the taxi rank who will bring you to your destination. No money should change hands between you and the taxi driver.
Airport Limo (M) Sdn Bhd runs the taxi services at the KLIA-Main Terminal building: http://www.airportlimo.my/
Mesra Indah Jaya Sdn Bhd runs the taxi services at the KLIA-LCC Terminal: http://www.mesraindahjaya.com/index.html
Teratai Terbilang Sdn Bhd runs the budget taxi services at the Subang Skypark airport: +603-78474782
Warisan Astana Sdn Bhd runs executive taxi services at the Subang Skypark airport: http://1cab.com.my/index.html
GENERAL TIPS ON USING TAXIS
You will find that some taxis will refuse to use the meter, especially taxis that are stationary, or parked outside hotels or tourist areas. Avoid using these taxis, and try to hail moving taxis on the road, as these would be more likely to use the meter. If you have absolutely no choice but to use one of these non-meter using taxis, at least negotiate a fixed fee before you board the taxi, to avoid potential arguments later on.
Alternatively, if you have access to a mobile phone, call for a radio taxi. Radio taxis use the meter but will charge an additional RM2. Some of the popular companies in the Klang Valley include:
Tel: +603 6259 2020
Sunlight Radio Taxi
Tel: +603 9057 1111, +603 9057 5757
UpTown Ace SuperCab
kuala lumpur executive taxi
http://www.executivetaxi2u.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +603 9283 2333
Tel: +603 9222 2828
SW Radio Taxis
Tel: +603 2693 6211
Tel: +603 2095 3399
You will also find that a few shopping malls and other places such as the KL Sentral transportation hub have also implemented the coupon system similar to the airport taxi system. Although the fixed fee is nominally higher than it would be if you just hail a cab off the street and use the meter, it does eliminate the need for haggling / negotiating with a recalcitrant taxi-driver who refuses to use the meter and removes the feeling of being short-changed.
Shopping malls that implement the coupon system include 1Utama, Mid-Valley Megamall and Sunway Pyramid. Pavilion shopping mall's Taxi @Connection is run by Sunlight Radio Taxi and is a radio call counter where you pay the RM2 radio call surcharge for a metered taxi.