Citing security and legality as reasons, the ban applies to Go-Jek, GrabTaxi, Uber and similar services
At a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday, Djoko Sasono, Directorate General of Land Transportation, Ministry of Transportation, officially declared ban on all forms of transportation that utilise ride-hailing apps such as Go-Jek, GrabTaxi and Uber.
The ban is based on a notification letter signed by Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Transportation. The letter also called for governors and police institutions across the country to take action against cars and motorbikes that are using these apps.
“The requirements of a public transportation is that it has to be at least a three-wheeled vehicle, and the company needs to have the legality and permission to operate as public transportation service,” Sasono stated.
While he also stated that the government has no issues with startups providing services to improve transportation, Sasono highlighted that vehicles that are being used need to go through quality check and being designated a yellow number plate.
In a responding statement, Cheryl Goh, VP of Marketing at GrabTaxi, stressed on the importance for the company to work together with the government in providing safe and affordable transportation solutions for the public.
“We need to focus on both the drivers and passengers’ interest in considering this issue … We care about our drivers, which are believed to have created a positive impact on society through the work they are doing,” she added.
However, Goh stated that the company respects local regulation, and will try its best to run business ‘within the parameter of existing law’.
The decision has been met with harsh reaction from the public. Based on e27’s observation, a Change.org petition calling for the ban’s cancellation has reached at least 6,800 signatories — from the targeted 7,500 — since it was posted today.
“If the government stated that the reason [for banning] is because they don’t fill the requirements of a public transportation, then they should have banned traditional motorbike taxi long ago, because they have never fulfilled such requirements,” according to Fitra Frico, who started the petition, in his statement on Change.org.
Yoga Adiwinarto, Director (Indonesia) for Institute of Transportation and Development Policy, also criticised the decision.
“I found it a normative decision. If their consideration was the lack of legality behind these companies, and lack of permission to operate as a public transportation provider, then we should see whether existing public transportation has fulfilled any of those requirements,” he said, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
Adiwinarto also added that ride-hailing apps were first built because the public does not trust existing public transportation as provided by the government.
“There are many cases of accidents involving Metro Mini and Kopaja buses [because of their drivers’ lack of competence]. Meanwhile, so far we have never heard anything about fallen victims of [ride-hailing] apps,” he added.
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