After conventional transportation drivers threatened to hold a mass strike, app-based ride-hailing services had to halt their operations in West Java. (Antara Photo/Budiyanto)

West Java Bans Ride-Hailing Apps, for Now


OCTOBER 11, 2017

Jakarta. App-based ride-hailing services have to halt their operations in West Java until the government issues a regulation governing their presence, following an agreement with a local transportation alliance on Monday (09/10), after it threatened to hold a mass strike.

"There is an agreement, so the public transportation [alliance's] plan to strike in the greater Bandung area has been canceled," Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil said on his Instagram page.

West Java, home to about 47 million, covers several cities and districts that serve as Jakarta's satellites — Bekasi, Depok and Bogor. Bandung is the province's capital city.

The mayor referred to a province-wide strike that was scheduled by Wadah Aliansi Aspirasi Transportasi (WAAT), an alliance of public transportation drivers and stakeholders, to be held from Tuesday to Friday.

The threat was effective and WAAT's demands were deemed "reasonable" by West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan. Ahmad said, as quoted by, that the drivers wanted to be on a level playing field against their online-based counterparts.

"Conventional [transportation drivers] have roadworthiness [KIR] certificates, yellow license plates and pay taxes," Ahmad said.

Ridwan, who once envisioned Bandung as a smart city, powered by information and communications technology, expressed his hope that members of the public will accept the decision.

The Jakarta Globe has reached out to Grab, Go-Jek and Uber, but none had immediate comments.

Operations of ride-hailing services in Indonesia have been subject to debates amid efforts by the government to protect the stakeholders of traditional modes of transportation.

The latest attempt by the Ministry of Transportation to constrain ride-hailing services by amending a regulation on public transportation without fixed routes was voided by the Supreme Court in August. The court argued that the regulation contradicted higher laws, while the services were a consequence of technological development and a demand for cheap and reliable transportation.

The ministry has three months to revise the regulation.