New Survey Shows Love-Hate Relationship Between Consumers and Online Transportation Service

A Go-Jek driver pillions a customer as he rides his motorcycle through a business district street in Jakarta. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

By : Tabita Diela | on 10:33 PM May 12, 2017
Category : Business, Economy, Editor's Choice, Featured

Jakarta. A recent survey by a consumer group showed consumers are generally satisfied with online transportation service in Indonesia despite complaints that led the government to start imposing new regulations.

The survey, by Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI), interviewed 4,668 online respondents from April 5 to April 16.

"Online transportation [service] is here to stay, banning it is not going to work," YLKI Managing Director Tulus Abadi said in a statement on Friday (12/05).

"They're popular because public transportation in big cities in Indonesia, including Jakarta, is still substandard," he said.

In the survey, 77.7 percent of the respondents said service from online transportation companies was very good, 21.8 percent said it was pretty good, 0.4 percent said not good and 0.1 percent said the service was very bad.

The survey showed 41 percent of the respondents had complained about the service from online transportation companies once while 59 percent of the respondents said they had never had any problem with the service.

Sources of the complaints were varied, Tulus said, but most of them were related to drivers' behavior, such as trip cancellation, careless driving or smoking while driving.

"Online transport does not have a standard of service yet. It's important that we create a standard of minimum service at least," Tulus said. "Especially for online taxis."

Indonesia's homegrown online transport service Go-Jek found most favor from respondents (72.6 percent), followed by Grab (66.9 percent) and Uber (51 percent). Respondents were allowed to choose more than one service.

More than half of the respondents (55 percent) were men and 45 percent were women. They preferred online transport because of its low cost (84.1 percent), speed (81.9 percent), comfortability (78.8 percent) and better safety compared to other modes of transportation (24 percent).

The lack of decent public transport has led consumers to refuse the government's plan to regulate online transport in a way that would affect its tariff and availability. The survey found 63 percent of the respondents refused such a plan and only 37 percent agreed to it.

A recent study by University of Indonesia's Center of Communication Studies also recommended the government to reconsider changing regulations that might make it harder for the service to survive.

The Transportation Ministry is revising a 2016 regulation on public transportation services without fixed routes, adding new points to put all the competing service providers to be on a level playing field for existing modes of public transportation.

The government wants app-based ride-hailing service to meet a mandatory minimum engine displacement, provide evidence of direct ownership of the vehicles in use, obtain roadworthiness certificates and pay higher taxes.

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