Allowing trishaws on the narrow streets of Kota Kinabalu will only disrupt traffic flow further, claims DAP.
Sabah DAP is among those questioning the wisdom of Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) to allow trishaw operations in a city where drivers are already cutting corners and weaving in and out of lanes to beat the traffic lights.
Party secretary Dr Edwin Bosi said that with the city already congested due to narrow roads overflowing with vehicles, allowing trishaws on them would only disrupt traffic flow further.
He said some 20 trishaws have been brought into Sabah recently by a private company which has been given a monopoly on the business by the Barisan Nasional government.
“We learned that the company has the endorsement of DBKK, Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and Tourism Malaysia (TM),” he said.
He said after having observed the operation of the trishaws plying the city roads, it was obvious that DBKK has failed to spot flaws in the new public transport operation including the dangers it posed with swift moving traffic.
“Sabah DAP thinks that the idea of having trishaws in the KK city is premature. First and foremost there is a need for special lanes for them to operate so that they do not add to the traffic jam problem in the city.
“Their slow movement will hold up other vehicles and they will be a nuisance especially at the traffic lights. Besides that they do not have safety precautions. They do not have brake lights or signal lights. Are the trishaw operators insured?” he asked.
Bosi added that if the trishaws are to be part of the state’s tourism attraction, they should be given designated routes as well as specific time to operate.
“It cannot be considered a tourism product because the trishaw operators are not trained as tourist guides and they do not have any sense of history or knowledge of the city and its landscape,” he contended.
‘Mayor ill advised’
He further noted that the trishaw operators are charging RM20 for a trip from the Hyatt Kinabalu Hotel to Centre Point and back.
“There is no display of the fee and designated areas and this is where the trishaw operators can charge as they like.
“DBKK should be prepared to receive complaints from tourists being ripped off by the trishaw operators. The income of city taxi operators will surely be affected by these trishaws and again, DBKK must be prepared to deal with them,” he said.
Bosi said the party believes that Mayor Abidin Madingkir was ill advised on the introduction of trishaws into the city.
“He has just made traffic flow and jams worse in the city. The mayor forgets that Sabahan drivers are also not used to having trishaws on the city roads.
“We feel that he should first construct proper pedestrian walkways linking every part of the city. It is such a shame that he did not see the beauty of Kota Kinabalu especially during the sunsets.
“The mayor should encourage the city inhabitants to walk and enjoy the charm of the city while benefiting from the exercise walking provides. DBKK must provide good lighting during the night while the city Police can provide security.
“This is the type of legacy that the mayor should leave behind,” he added.
A bid to declare several old road within the city off-limits to vehicles soon after Kota Kinabalu was granted city status was quickly shelved after city folk rejected the environment-friendly move.
Bosi reminded the local authority to make a detail study when implementing something so foreign that was bound to have an impact on people’s lives.