Indonesia tries issuing ban on taxi & motorbike apps, triggers online furor

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GoJek motorbike taxiIndonesia’s Ministry of Transportation on December 17 banned ride-hailing taxi and motorbike services that operate online such as Uber, Go-Jek and GrabTaxi, stating that these companies “do not meet the official definition of public transport.”

The ministry asked local police to take action against the operators of these transport services, as well as stop drivers to continue offering transportation. The ban thus effectively outlaws all taxi and motorbike apps.

“Services like Uber, in which they demand payment using a private car, is not legal under current law,” Djoko Sasono, director general of land transportation at the Transport Ministry, said.

One of the most affected services is Go-Jek, a motorbike transport service operated through apps that has received funding of around $100 million, but is actually worth nothing if not allowed to operate. Go-Jek currently has around 20,000 drivers in Indonesia across major cities such as Jakarta, Bandung and Denpasar, with many driving as their sole source of income.

But the move has also caused legal confusion. The outright ban comes within days of ride-hailing services being granted permission to operate in Jakarta, partially in acknowledgement for the huge gap in public transport needs they fill in traffic-choked cities.

Angry citizens on December 18 started a Twitter initiative under hashtag #SaveGoJek and voiced their disappointment with the ban. This caused the ministry to backpedal and say that app-based motorbike taxis and other transport can “continue operating until there is decent and reliable public transport”.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, obviously uninformed of the ban ahead of its announcement, publicly criticised his transport minister for the clampdown and summoned him “for talks.” Widodo said the service should “complement the country’s public transport” and has called on his aides to prepare revisions to current transport laws.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation on December 17 banned ride-hailing taxi and motorbike services that operate online such as Uber, Go-Jek and GrabTaxi, stating that these companies “do not meet the official definition of public transport.”

Reading Time: 1 minute

GoJek motorbike taxiIndonesia’s Ministry of Transportation on December 17 banned ride-hailing taxi and motorbike services that operate online such as Uber, Go-Jek and GrabTaxi, stating that these companies “do not meet the official definition of public transport.”

The ministry asked local police to take action against the operators of these transport services, as well as stop drivers to continue offering transportation. The ban thus effectively outlaws all taxi and motorbike apps.

“Services like Uber, in which they demand payment using a private car, is not legal under current law,” Djoko Sasono, director general of land transportation at the Transport Ministry, said.

One of the most affected services is Go-Jek, a motorbike transport service operated through apps that has received funding of around $100 million, but is actually worth nothing if not allowed to operate. Go-Jek currently has around 20,000 drivers in Indonesia across major cities such as Jakarta, Bandung and Denpasar, with many driving as their sole source of income.

But the move has also caused legal confusion. The outright ban comes within days of ride-hailing services being granted permission to operate in Jakarta, partially in acknowledgement for the huge gap in public transport needs they fill in traffic-choked cities.

Angry citizens on December 18 started a Twitter initiative under hashtag #SaveGoJek and voiced their disappointment with the ban. This caused the ministry to backpedal and say that app-based motorbike taxis and other transport can “continue operating until there is decent and reliable public transport”.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, obviously uninformed of the ban ahead of its announcement, publicly criticised his transport minister for the clampdown and summoned him “for talks.” Widodo said the service should “complement the country’s public transport” and has called on his aides to prepare revisions to current transport laws.

 

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