Loke: Transport Ministry will conduct spot checks on motorcycle ride-hailing services to gather data, ensure safety

Transport Minister Anthony Loke attends a press conference at Pasar Seni LRT Station in Kuala Lumpur January 6, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Transport Minister Anthony Loke attends a press conference at Pasar Seni LRT Station in Kuala Lumpur January 6, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The Transport Ministry will conduct periodic spot checks on motorcycle ride-hailing services until it has enough data to form a regulatory framework to govern the burgeoning industry.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke took a Dego Ride from KL to the Pasar Seni LRT station where he was met by reporters.

Loke said since the Cabinet agreed to give bike hailing services a chance to operate in Malaysia, it was up to him and the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) to ensure that the companies providing these services adhere to the highest safety regulations.

“These bikes have to navigate through heavy traffic in and around Kuala Lumpur which is why my advice to all motorcycle ride-hailing services is that you must follow the safety regulations set in place.

“We (Ministry of Transport) and APAD will monitor them and APAD will audit all the data collected from the company... for example the number of passengers they take and the speed at which they travel,” said Loke.

“We will do this throughout the six-month pilot project period which was agreed upon and with the data we collect we will ensure these riders are following the rule of law with safety as the priority.”

The start of the six-month trial period for motorcycle ride-hailing services in Kuala Lumpur began on January 3. Only one company, Dego Ride, has started providing a full motorcycle ride-hailing service.

It has around 700 riders available with another 4,000 applicants pending.

Loke said his Dego Ride rider today was unaware of who he was when he was picked up.

He said it took around 15 minutes to get to Pasar Seni LRT station from his location in KL, where he had a meeting this morning.

Upon arrival at the pick-up point, the rider gave Loke a helmet and he said the rider adhered to all traffic rules and regulations, was not speeding and was aware of his surroundings at all times ensuring the safety of the passenger.

The rider had also told Loke he was his 20th passenger and that he was doing ride-hailing as a part-time job to earn some extra income.

There are also female riders to provide services for female passengers only. Loke said the bike-hailing app will allow female riders to choose who they want to pick up in order to avoid any unwanted incidents.

“We also feel the service provider must give insurance coverage for riders and passengers. What we must remember is there isn’t a strong regulatory framework yet to govern this industry which includes food delivery,” Loke explained.

“We’re hoping to formulate a strong framework for the entire industry. There are lots of complaints that food delivery riders aren’t following safety regulations.

“That’s why we want to look at this industry holistically and once this service is more integrated, then we will regulate the entire industry together,” he added.

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