Kuala Lumpur police may have banned the use of electric scooters on public roads within the city, but KL City Hall (DBKL) says it is not dismissing the idea of e-scooters completely, as The Star reports.

According to mayor Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah, DBKL is currently carrying out a feasibility study to determine if e-scooters can be allowed to continue operating in the capital. He said that a task force is currently collecting data from various government agencies on the matter before a decision is made on whether usage of these micro-mobility devices will be permitted.

He revealed that DBKL had been approached by e-scooter companies seeking permission for such vehicles to be used at designated areas and zones in the city, and the task force will study the viability of e-scooters very carefully.

“Our own research find that some cities have allowed it (e-scooter) and some have not. Which is why we are thankful that agencies such as transport ministry, the road transport department, the police and MIROS (Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research) are willing to share their data with us, as it will help us make a decision on the matter,” he said.

He said that besides looking at the feasibility of e-scooter usage, the task force will also look at areas where riders would be allowed to park the scooters. “Based on their findings, we will then make a decision whether it is a go or no-go. If we agree to go ahead with it, there will be restrictions or conditions so that their usage does not contravene the police’s ban,” he explained, adding that a decision is expected by the middle of the month.

Mahadi said the study was crucial to determine the feasibility of e-scooters as DBKL did not want a repeat of the situation it faced with oBike. The city council had legalised the usage of the yellow bicycles operated by oBike two years ago as part of the local government’s green initiative to reduce carbon emissions in the city.

However, the project turned out to be a commercial failure as well as an environmental nightmare, as bicycles ridden by users were abandoned in every nook and cranny of the city, with some even ending up being dumped in rivers. Presently, the fleet of bikes are piled up in DBKL’s already crowded depots, waiting to be sold as scrap metal.

“We have learnt from our mistake with oBike, so we don’t want to repeat what happened before. But neither do we want to close the door on the possibility of e-scooters without thinking things through first,” Mahadi said. The report adds that DBKL’s enforcement department is already noting the presence of abandoned e-scooters in various parts of the city centre.

In December, KL police announced that e-scooters would be prohibited from use on KL roads from January 1, with their use permissible only in gazetted areas such as playgrounds and areas around shopping centres. Those caught breaching the rules are set to face a RM300 fine for the first offence, and a RM1,000 fine or three months jail for the second offence.