LTA nabs drivers providing illegal cross-border rides between S'pore and M'sia, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

LTA nabs drivers providing illegal cross-border rides between S'pore and M'sia

Four drivers have been nabbed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for providing cross-border chauffeured services between Singapore and Malaysia without the required licence.

In a Facebook post on Feb 21, LTA said it caught the drivers during a recent enforcement operation. It did not say when the operation was conducted.

Photos accompanying the post showed multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) stopped by LTA officers or being towed away.

Vehicles are not allowed to provide cross-border passenger transport services for hire without a valid public service vehicle licence (PSVL), according to the LTA. Those who provide such services illegally may not have sufficient insurance coverage to protect passengers in the event of an accident.

The offence carries a fine of up to $3,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both. The vehicle used may also be forfeited.

Cautioning the public against using such services, the LTA said: “Besides being illegal, the vehicles used may not be sufficiently insured against third-party liabilities, which could pose a serious problem for passengers should an accident occur.”

In a separate Facebook post, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said he has asked the LTA to take a firm stance against such unlawful practices, and to conduct undercover operations to catch errant drivers.

“To the drivers who are thinking of offering such illegal services, let me say this: Think carefully before breaking the rules, as you never know if your next ‘customer’ is actually an undercover LTA officer,” he added.

The Straits Times found more than 10 websites and listings on online marketplaces like Carousell providing cross-border chauffeur services targeted at travellers from Singapore.

One website from a company with an office address in Johor Bahru offered tours and airport transfers with MPVs. A one-way trip to the Senai Airport in JB with a seven-seater Toyota Alphard MPV is priced at $130.

On another website, a door-to-door chauffeur service from Singapore to various shopping malls in JB is priced between $70 and $110.

While some operators mention insurance coverage, none say they have the required licence to operate the cross-border service.

In April 2022, The Straits Times reported that there were about 240 taxis that have the needed licence to ferry passengers between Singapore and JB. Those in Singapore looking to board a taxi for Malaysia can do so at the taxi terminal at Ban San Street in Jalan Besar.

In 2019, four drivers were convicted of providing illegal chauffeured services with foreign-registered vehicles. Each of them were fined $1,400 and three of the four vehicles were forfeited. LTA said then that it had applied to the court to seize the remaining vehicle.