KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook personally took a trip on a Dego Ride motorcycle, as a form of a "spot check" to ensure motorcycle taxi services (bike hailing) comply with the rules and are safe.
He used the service from the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Headquarters to the Central Market Kuala Lumpur LRT station to check on the Central Market's Pedestrian Bridge here on Monday (Jan 6).
Loke told the media that the 10-minute journey was a surprise check he was performing on the service.
"I had to wait for 15 minutes after booking through the app – maybe because it is still new, but the rider had apparently complied with the rules during the two-kilometre ride," he told reporters.
The Dego Ride rider who ferried Loke provided him with a helmet, rode at a moderate speed and obeyed all traffic rules including stopping at traffic lights.
Loke explained that the ministry would conduct surprise checks from time to time to ensure that those providing the service complied with the law and not cause any problems.
The ministry will monitor a pilot project of the service for six months before any legal framework is put in place for the service, including Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license requirements for its owners.
"However, companies operating these services must provide insurance coverage for their pillion riders and motorcyclists," he said.
The motorcycle taxi service, Dego Ride, began operation on Jan 1, which is accessible through an application on smart devices. The service has about 500 riders in the Klang Valley.
Ride-hailing company Grab is also expected to introduce the motorcycle service, with Gojek, the company that introduced motorcycle taxi services in Indonesia, likely to join too.
" Gojek has not opened a company here yet, so they have not been allowed to operate the motorcycle taxi service," he said.
Meanwhile, Loke expressed dissatisfaction when he discovered that three out of four commuter train service ticket machines at the Keratapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) station in Kuala Lumpur were not functioning.
Loke, who made a surprise visit to the station after inspecting the pedestrian bridge, said it was shameful and reflected badly on public transportation in the country.
"Especially in this new year, when we are welcoming foreign tourists to the country with the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign – this is unacceptable," he said.
Loke called on the top leaders of the public transport service providers in the country including Prasarana, MRT Corp and KTMB to be more proactive and go down to the ground to address service issues that commuters often complain about.
"I know of a lot of issues – especially ticketing. KTM (had) a lot of complaints on ticketing, on services and all that from time to time, we have to upgrade.
"No point for us to have big projects, spend billions of ringgit to upgrade the tracks, upgrade the station, but in terms of services to public we are far behind," he said.
Commenting on the possible resumption of the Rayani Air carrier operations this year, Loke said there had been no such request from the company.
Any airline seeking to become operational will need the approval of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and the Malaysian Civil Aviation Authority (CAAM).