Minister of Transport Anthony Loke has teased the possibility of the government subsidising e-hailing rides to solve the issue of first and last-mile connectivity issues for public transport systems. The initiative is being considered in order to encourage the public to use trains more by providing incentives, but the minister did not go into any detail about it.
Loke was answering a supplementary question from Jerantut MP Khairil Nizam Khirudin during a question and answer session in Parliament today. The MP asked about possibly lowering fare rates for e-hailing through subsidies for lower-income groups who need to use the service to get to train stations.
The minister responded to the question by revealing that his ministry is currently looking into providing incentives for e-hailing specifically for people to travel to and from stations. While it sounds exciting, the exact mechanic of the subsidy wasn’t revealed and Loke said they would first study the financial implications before implementing the initiative.
Earlier during that same session, the transport minister also said he has asked the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) to allow e-hailing firms to implement a ride-sharing feature. This is essentially when drivers can pick up more than one passenger during the same trip, resulting in lower fares.
This isn’t the first time he has brought it up as Loke talked about ride-sharing for both taxis and e-hailing just a few weeks ago. Interestingly, Grab had a ride-share option for cheaper rides a few years ago, but it was gradually scrapped in 2019.
Prasarana and Kumpool are running pilot projects offering e-hailing vans as on-demand feeder buses that serve LRT stations, with the latest one being introduced in Shah Alam. Similarly, the Selangor state government is also attempting to tackle last-mile connectivity issues by developing an e-hailing app for on-demand vans.
(Source: Parliament/YouTube [Timestamp:47:09-51:43])
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