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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1, 2015:

Private hire vehicle booking service app GrabCar today demands that authorities actively discourage ambush operations against it.

A GrabCar spokesman said it was important to understand that consumers wanted both kinds of services, taxi and private car hire and that was the reason why GrabCar existed.

“In this region for example, regulators in Singapore and Philippines understand the market nuances and have regulatory frameworks that balance consumer protection and the flexibility needed for innovation in the public transport industry,” the spokesman said in a statement today.

The spokesman also said that multiple services provided by GrabCar had helped to ease the barriers that existed within the industry, such as the lack of available on-demand transport options during peak periods.

GrabCar’s response came after a group of taxi drivers protesting the continued operations of private hire vehicle companies managed to get the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to arrest a GrabCar driver after they lured him to their gathering outside the agency’s office in Kelana Jaya.

During the protest, one of the taxi drivers, Jay Rohezan, hired a car to SPAD’s office using the GrabCar service to prove that the firm’s drivers were still operating illegally without licences.

SPAD had in July, said that although Uber and GrabCar were legal as “service matching” businesses, the manner in which they operated, was not.

During the three-hour operation on Wednesday, one Uber and eight GrabCar vehicles were hauled up by SPAD for using ride-sharing apps to get customers.

The operation was carried out by 36 enforcement officers at Bangsar, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Pudu and Kuala Lumpur city centre.

SPAD enforcement chief Datuk Che Hasni Che Ahmad said the operation was aimed at unlicensed private vehicles used to ferry passengers.

“Private vehicles are not allowed to carry (paying) passengers. To date SPAD has seized 43 Uber and 89 GrabCar vehicles.”

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