KUALA LUMPUR: The UBER mobile app transport service that connects passengers with drivers of private vehicles for hire and ride-sharing services is illegal. Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar (pix) said the use of private vehicles to carry fare-paying passengers is an offence under the Land Public Transport Act 2010. "This illegal service provided could be colloquially referred to as kereta sapu," he said in a press statement. SPAD findings, he said, indicate that UBER uses private vehicles as well as vehicles registered for hire-and-drive and limousine services. Vehicles registered as hire-and-drive vehicles under SPAD are not allowed to be used for taxi or limousine services. Furthermore, SPAD findings on UBER indicate that some of its drivers do not have a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) driving licence and this is an offence under the Road Transport Act 1987. Syed Hamid said vehicles currently used by UBER are also not covered under commercial vehicle insurance and may also not go through Puspakom's semiannual checks. UBER's services pose a challenge to many public transport regulators around the world and cities such as Miami, Berlin and Seoul have banned it. Syed Hamid said the services provided by UBER must comply with all the transport laws in Malaysia. "As the regulator in charge of Malaysia's land public transport, we take compliance with the law, local rules and regulations very seriously. "We will not hesitate to take enforcement action on service providers who do not comply with the law," he said, adding that they will also mete out appropriate punishment on vehicle owners who violate the Land Public Transport Act 2010. Syed Hamid also disclosed that SPAD has attempted to contact UBER by telephone and via email but to date, it has not responded or replied to SPAD. "Under the current regulatory scheme, among the vehicles used by UBER, only licensed limousines are eligible to offer chauffeur-driven services, and since there are 839 licensed limousines nationwide which are eligible to offer this service, the supply of vehicles and drivers should therefore not be an issue for UBER," he added. The Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (Gabungan) had called on SPAD and other relevant agencies to take action against UBER which was operating without any business licence or office in Malaysia nor does the latter have any taxi permit issued by SPAD. UBER was reported to be charging RM2 for every kilometre with a starting charge of RM7 and minimum charge of RM13 for a trip. The company's fares are fixed at RM68 for a one-way trip from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya, RM270 for premium transport service and RM80 for budget transport service from KL to KLIA and RM150 from KL to Genting Highlands, Pahang.