Would you hail a motorcycle e-ride when it’s legalised in KL

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 22 August 2019


Let’s support motorcycle ride-hailing services because it will be a low-cost transport solution that will help us be more productive and train the young riders to get ahead with productive employment.

My criticism originally was that the Bangkok and Jakarta are notorious for the traffic conditions and the motorcycle ride hailing in those two mega cities are a low-speed and low-risks affair.

On the other hand, many Malaysian motorcyclists typically reach speeds of 110 kph on highways and main roads compared to motorcyclists in Jakarta who can’t attain more than 40kph because of the “macet” or traffic jam. Similarly, the crowded streets of Bangkok mostly prevent speeds above 40kph.

Finally, motorcyclists are mostly not allowed on the toll highways in Jakarta and Bangkok.

One way to systemise safety for motorcycle ride hailing is to ringfence the motorcycle e-rider to a maximum of 5km between pick up point and destination. This e-riding distance such be more than enough for the last mile to and from the home to MRT, LRT and Monorail stations. Prasara’s last-mile connectivity between public transport and homes is a failure in terms of ridership and costs of providing the service.

Hopefully, the e-ride is a better and lower cost solution to Rapid KL shuttles from stations to homes.

Secondly, the system can penalise or suspend riders who exceed the average time required for the ride. The GoJek or Grab ride or Dego app can be programmed for this and many other safety factors.

And most importantly for safety is the correct attitude for the e-riders — there must be a vigorous vetting of all applicants so that anyone convicted under the penal code and relevant traffic law is disqualified from providing e-rides. Similarly, those who consistently achieve good ratings should be recognized and incentivized and vice-versa for those with bad attitudes.

Let’s recognize that a progressive government has a duty to create and nuture a pro-employment economic environment.

There will be critics who want to preserve their vested interests and we must convince them that the transport industry is the early platform of the Internet of Things and AI and machine learning. And that there can be a mutually beneficial complementation of service providers and customers.

A wise government should use it’s legislative and regulatory power to grow the nation and persuade critics in case there are concerns that there’s no place for women in motorcycle ride hailing: whether as a rider or as passengers.

Ultimately, Malaysia and the world economy is going through a long patch of tensions and trade conflicts and the government needs to create employment.

It seems that there are already 200,000 drivers employed in the e-hailing industry and this gig work is helping them supplement their incomes.

Hopefully, the approval of motorcycle e-riding will create a new source of income and provide the e-riders with a new skillset of IoT with Smart Phones and ride-hailing apps.

There’s a place in the sun for all.