Blue Bird Group, Indonesia's largest taxi operator, is setting aside around Rp 1 trillion in capital expenditure this year to revitalize its fleet and gear up its IT operation, while also expanding its other business unit to attract a larger market share. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Blue Bird Allocates Rp 1t for Capex, Sets New Strategy to Boost Market Share

BY :SARAH YUNIARNI

APRIL 26, 2017

Jakarta. Blue Bird Group, Indonesia's largest taxi operator, is setting aside around Rp 1 trillion — $75 million — in capital expenditure this year to revitalize its fleet and gear up its IT operation, while also expanding its other business units to attract a larger market share.

Around 60 percent from the capex will be spent on revamping at least 3,000 cars on its fleet. Meanwhile, the remainder will be allocated to expand its IT operation, the company said last month.

Last year, Blue Bird spent Rp 1 trillion to Rp 1.2 trillion to expand the fleet, buy up land and build new offices.

"Our capital expenditure will be funded from internal cash," Bluebird director Sigit Priawan Djokosoetono told the media on Tuesday (25/04) at the company's headquarters in South Jakarta.

"We do not have any plan to expand our fleet this year," Sigit added.

The company has been struggling to maintain its market share as it faces stiff competition from app-based ride-hailing services like Uber and Grab Car.

Blue Bird cut its taxi fare in April last year and has been developing other business units to claw back the market share.

Blue Bird has revamped its mobile application to draw a larger market, especially millennials used to easy and quick app interface.

The taxi operator expanded its market segment by offering its charter bus, Big Bird, to be rented for tour and travel. The company launched "Big Bird Jalan Jalan" in January this year, offering tour and travel packages for family or group of travelers.

Big Bird has been offering tour packages to Jogjakarta, Bandung, Cirebon and Jungle Land theme park in Bogor, West Java.

"There is a big opportunity in this segment. We've seen growing demand from customers who want to visit local tourist attractions [in Java] since the Cipali toll road was opened," Sigit said.

Cipali is an abbreviation of the Cikopo-Palimanan toll road connecting Jakarta with Cirebon and other cities in Java. It is part of the Trans Java toll road network.

Sigit said the company also wants to expand its "Big Bird Jalan Jalan" packages to Surabaya and Bali.

The company currently operates a fleet of 26,000 cars and buses across the archipelago, employing 40,000 drivers in 27 provinces.

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