Experts hail proposal to introduce motorcycle ride-hailing service

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has proposed the introduction of motorcycle ride-hailing service Gojek in Malaysia. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Transport experts have welcomed Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s proposal to introduce motorcycle ride-hailing service Gojek in Malaysia.

Speaking to FMT, Rosli Azad Khan, a consultant with 40 years’ experience, said motorcycle ride-hailing services were available in many countries in the region and would boost the income of those in the Bottom 40 (B40) group.

Yesterday, Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said the proposal to bring Gojek to Malaysia would be discussed by the Cabinet.

This follows his statement last year that Putrajaya did not intend to legalise motorcycle ride-hailing services any time soon to protect the safety of riders and passengers, in view of the high number of motorcycle accidents recorded nationwide over the years.

But Rosli said the high accident rate would remain regardless of whether motorcycle ride-hailing services are operating or not.

“Accidents happen because of a lack of awareness of safe riding. Has the government done a study to see if private car owners or taxis get involved in more accidents? The same logic applies.

“In fact, I believe services like Gojek will be an incentive to motorcyclists to drive safer because they have to think of their passengers’ safety as it can affect their livelihood.”

Rosli said with Gojek fares very likely to be cheaper than Grab, it could serve as a feeder service to transport people to and from other public transportation systems such as the MRT and LRT.

“In terms of the laws, we do not need to reinvent the wheel,” he added. “We can look at how Indonesia has done it and modify it to suit our needs and requirements.”

Umno Youth strategic director Wan Agyl Wan Hassan said allowing motorcycles to enter the ride-hailing industry was a good move as they were more accessible to passengers and operators, being cheaper in terms of fares and operations.

But the former Land Public Transport Commission official said proper infrastructure and policies must be laid out before such services are introduced.

“In Jakarta, where Gojek is widely used, the accident rate is low due to the immense traffic congestion, meaning the motorcycles can’t really go fast even if they wanted to.

“If we are to have it here, we must focus on such services operating the first and last mile of a journey which means limiting the distances motorcycles can travel.”

The local authorities, he said, would also need to have separate motorcycle lanes to better ensure the safety of passengers.

“Enforcement and monitoring systems must also be in place and these should leverage on technology like GPS trackers and helmet cameras for the helmets of the rider and passenger.”

In 2017, the government banned local motorcycle ride-hailing service Dego Ride over safety concerns for motorcyclists and pillion riders.

The transport ministry said an analysis found that the risk of motorcyclists being involved in fatal accidents was 42.5 times higher compared with that of buses and 16 times higher than that of cars.