Hornbill Unleashed

November 17, 2016

Women drivers for female passengers

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

With ride-hailing service gaining popularity among commuters, Riding Pink is jumping on the bandwagon. It is the first ever women’s only transportation platform in Malaysia.

Riding Pink was launched in Kuala Lumpur recently as a service by women for women with two goals in mind. It allows women a safe flexible avenue for additional income and providing women a safe alternative to complement other ride sharing apps and public transport.

It was founded by Denise Tan, who is a full-time-mother in Kuala Lumpur. She held a corporate career as an auditor with a large public-listed retail company and later on as a marketing practitioner based in Singapore, before giving up her career to concentrate on taking care of her two young boys.

Its website is up, but registration of drivers isn’t enabled yet. It is a matter of time before Riding Pink joins more than a dozen mobile apps available locally for booking taxis or private vehicles, except the service will be provided by women drivers for female passengers only.

With better security, more women will come forward to drive others for money, and female passengers will feel more at ease.

While such arrangements are generally safer, they can also be targeted by those with criminal intention. As social media accounts can be hacked and phones with mobile apps passed to others, the driver or passenger may turn out to be a male.

Also, criminals can use a female as decoy to lull drivers or passengers into a false sense of security. I drove taxis for 10 years without incident, as I had honed my gut instinct and understood why taxi drivers declined passengers or trips when they felt unsafe.

Teksi Wanita (Women Taxi) was introduced several years ago but placing a “Teksi Wanita” sticker on the front windscreen could also attract unwanted attention. Both the driver and passengers may stick out as easy targets by carjackers and robbers.

In April 2013, I conducted training for a group of women drivers at a leading taxi company which had collaborated with the Department of Women Development (JPW).

Sadly, most of them took up taxi driving just to take possession of a new taxi, as they did not have to pay for the down payment.

It would be more meaningful for JPW to work with Tanto develop the mobile app as ride-hailing service would offer opportunities for large number of women to earn some money.

But this must be done only after ride-hailing services are legalised. We should not make a mockery of our country’s laws, especially by government agencies or civil servants.

If a public service vehicle (PSV) licence issued by the Road Transport Department or an enhanced version of the Driver Card issued by the Land Public Transport Commission is required for ride-hailing service, then JPW can provide subsidy for women in need of help.

Source : Y S Chan@The Heat Malaysia Online


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