The subject of motorcycle ride-hailing is certainly one that has been hotly-contested. GoJek, the Indonesian-based company, has reportedly been eyeing the Malaysian market for some time now, although this has been met with resistance from certain parties in Malaysia—namely, taxi and e-hailing companies.
However, it seems that plans to introduce ride-hailing in Malaysia are moving forward regardless. Transport Minister Anthony Loke said today that the federal government has approved a 6-month trial period for ride-hailing services that will begin in January 2020.
The pilot will reportedly be confined to Kuala Lumpur, and will be open to other ride-hailing companies besides GoJek. This means that e-hailing companies like Grab could opt to join the trial here, having already provided ride-hailing services in other markets in the region. Meanwhile, local company Dego Ride is also likely to be involved.
There will be certain requirements that have already been put in place: passengers must be 18 years old and above, while riders also need to be 18 years old and above and possess a full motorbike license. Riders will need to provide helmets for passengers, and will only be allowed to carry one passenger at a time. In addition to that, motorbikes need to be free of unapproved modifications and not be on JPJ’s blacklist.
According to Loke, the trial period will serve to analyse the effectiveness of ride-hailing, with the government under no obligation to fully legalise the service at the end of the trial period:
“If the concept proves to be a viable solution for the public transport system, we will see how it can be continued further.”
Information that will be collected during the pilot run will include the age and gender of passengers, destinations, travel, fares, and types of motorcycles used. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of gender restrictions, despite claims from certain parties that motorcycle ride-hailing as a service would infringe upon the modesty of female passengers.
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