More bike-hailing firms to enter local market

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by TMR FILE PIX

MORE bike-hailing companies are expected to enter the local market during the six-month pilot study period, taking cue from Dego Ride’s launch last week.

Apart from Dego Ride, e-hailing giant Grab has announced its own pilot programme for the bike hailing service, GrabBike, which took effect on Jan 3.

Another local company, JomRides, told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that it intends to launch its bike-hailing service in the first quarter of this year (1Q20), provided regulations and guideline issues are sorted out by the authority.

For Dego Ride, the firm has set a list of criteria for its riders after the Transport Ministry announced the pilot project implementation last November.

Dego Ride founder and CEO Nabil Feisal Bamadhaj said among the guidelines set include an age limit and type of licence.

“Riders must be above the age of 18 and have a full B2 motorcycle licence, no L’s or P’s allowed. The bike must also be registered under the rider’s name, while road tax and insurance need to be active,” he told TMR in a recent email response.

He said the company is currently working closely with several insurance companies to provide coverage for its passengers.

“In the meantime, we offer protection coverage in the instance anything unfortunate happens to the riders or passengers,” he said.

According to Nabil, there are currently about 700 active riders across the Klang Valley, with more than 15,000 riders registered.

“Dego Ride will have a 10km maximum trip distance and we are focusing on the Klang Valley for now, but will look into expanding to other areas,” he added.

He said both riders and customers will be able to communicate directly with Dego Ride’s office via the hotline and live chat available 24/7.

“We will also collect feedback and reviews on riders and customers, and carry out the relevant next steps based on the data collected,” Nabil said.

In terms of approval for riders, Nabil said there is a stringent process involving the sharing of data with the Land Public Transport Agency, Road Transport Department, Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research.

Nabil added that future plans for Dego Ride will include the expansion into food delivery, as well as convenience and fastmoving consumer goods to further add value to its riders and increase earnings for them.

“There are other services that will be rolled out in phases to meet the demands of our customers since we have been building relationships with our customer base since 2015,” he said.

JomRides head of marketing Musfaizal Mustafa said the company plans to introduce the bike-hailing service called Jrbike within the Klang Valley during the test period.

“Jrbike will be introduced within the Klang Valley by 1Q20. Ever since the government agreed to trial run this service in Malaysia, we have also been keen to gauge the acceptance within this area,” he told TMR.

Grab Malaysia said currently GrabBike has some 300 driver-partners made up of both male and female drivers. The company also aims to evaluate the feasibility and cultural fit of the bike-hailing industry in the country.

For now, it said the two high-density areas within the Klang Valley are Kuala Lumpur (KL) city centre like KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Pudu and Chow Kit, while other areas include

Wangsa Maju and its surroundings. Grab said safety will remain its top priority and practical guidelines have been put into place for safeguarding.

Its country head Sean Goh said all riders are required to attend driver safety training and undergo practical assessments before becoming active on the road.

“All GrabBike motorcycles are equipped with helmets and hairnets for driver-partners and passengers, as well as reflective jackets for drivers. As with all Grab rides, both drivers and passengers are covered by personal accident insurance,” Goh said in a statement.

He also said cash payments between 9pm and 2am will be disabled to protect the safety of both parties involved. Grab said the service so far garnered positive responses and he expects new customers to try it out.

“Moving forward, we are working to get more driver-partners through the safety training process as we look to serve additional areas within the Klang Valley,” he said.

Grab said it plans to develop new initiatives and modules to raise the bar on safety standards for bike-hailing and on-demand delivery services on the platform, such as GrabBike, GrabFood, GrabExpress and GrabMart.