Grab press conference in Jakarta on Friday (17/03). (Photo courtesy of Grab)

Grab, Go-Jek, Uber Unite Against Upcoming Rule on Online Transport Services


MARCH 17, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia's ride-hailing services have officially expressed concerns over an upcoming rule on online transport services, arguing it will discourage transport innovation by limiting fleet and income growths.

Grab Indonesia, Go-Jek and Uber signed a joint statement addressed to Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Friday (17/03), asking the minister to revisit the rule and wait for another nine months before ratifying it.

According to the initial plan, the government will put into force this revised version of Ministerial Regulation No. 32/2016 on public transportation services without fixed routes on April 1.

"We appreciate the government's effort to study the rules related to app-based, on-demand transport services," the statement said.

"We believe we have positive inputs for the government," the statement said.

The ride-hailing services are opposing proposals from the government to impose a fleet quota, price cap and requirement for drivers to register their cars with a co-operative or a company.

However, Grab, Go-Jek and Uber agreed that a requirement for every car to obtain a certificate of roadworthiness, known as KIR, is important to keep up safety standards.

Ridzki Kramadibrata, Grab Indonesia managing director, told reporters in a press conference that the government's imposition of base and ceiling fares will disturb the market, denying the public an affordable transport service.

"We believe that a fully flexible pricing approach that responds to the needs of the market is the most efficient approach to price-setting," Ridzki said.

Ridzki also said fleet quota will "stifle" competition and only benefit existing taxi companies.

"My biggest worry is the proposed rule requiring our driver partners to register their cars' STNKs [vehicle registration certificate] with a co-operative," Ridzki said. "It'll be unfair to prevent [the drivers] from keeping ownership of their cars and to give it away to a business co-operative."

Companies versus drivers

These app-based ride-hailing services' stance may not necessarily reflect their drivers' opinion, according to Darmaningtyas, Indonesia Transportation Association's chairman for advocacy.

Darmaningtyas said the companies' driver partners have actually been demanding fleet quota and fare caps since their income has been steadily decreasing due to a ballooning number of drivers.

"Fares have become irrational and competition unhealthy," Darmaningtyas said.

Two GrabCar and Go-Ride drivers, who asked not to be named, told the Jakarta Globe prior to the press conference that they get fewer passengers now compared to a year ago when there were fewer drivers.

Both Grab and Go-Jek refuse to disclose the number of their driver partners.