Bike-hailing companies such as Gojek and local start-up Dego Ride will be allowed to start operations under a pilot project in January, said transport minister Anthony Loke. Companies which plan to do so will be allowed to offer rides under a six-month Proof of Concept (PoC) project in order to assess the system, while the passage of laws regulating bike-hailing operations is in the works, The Star reported.

“Among the conditions of the PoC is that it will be confined to the Klang Valley. Other conditions are that the riders must be not less than 18 years old, and they can only ferry one passenger at a time, who are not less than 18 years old,” Loke said in response to a question raised during the minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat.

Riders and their motorcycles must be clearly identifiable during the proof of concept period, while the motorcycles used for bike-hailing must be no more that five years old with riders and passengers insured.

“The PoC will also allow the government and companies involved to gather data, assess the availability and demand levels and other services related to bike-hailing,” said Loke, adding that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and police will be involved in enforcing laws based on the Road Transport Act.

The government decided to implement the pilot project as it would take time for the laws relevant to bike-hailing to be drafted, tabled and passed by Parliament, the transport minister said. In August, Gojek received the Cabinet’s agreement in principle for its implementation in the country, with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Transport Ministry asked by Cabinet to work together in order to implement the service in the country.

This marks a development from the transport ministry’s previous stance on bike-hailing or ‘motorcycle taxi’ services, which it previously declared illegal in January 2017 as no licences were issued for this specific purpose.