The driver of a traditional bajaj taxi takes part in a protest rally to call for a ban on online ride-hailing services in Jakarta in this March 2016 file photo. (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)

Gov't Seeks to Limit Online Ride-Hailing Services Nationwide


MARCH 14, 2017

Jakarta. The central government will soon cap fares of online ride-hailing services and limit their fleets as part of an effort to stymie rising tension between the drivers of conventional modes of public transportation and those of popular app-based services, a senior official said on Monday (13/03).

"There should be a quota for online transport businesses' capacity," said Pudji Hartanto Iskandar, director general for land transportation at the Ministry of Transportation.

"[The fleet] must be limited to prevent turmoil. [...] We will also regulate the fares, so there will be upper and lower thresholds that will be set by each local government."

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi previously said periodic surveys will be conducted to determine the cap in an attempt to match fares charged by conventional transportation services.

Pudji's comments came after recent demonstrations by taxi and bus drivers, who demanded that the government implement a nationwide ban on app-based ride-hailing services.

A rally in Tangerang, Banten, turned violent last week after a taxi driver slammed his vehicle into the motorcycle of an app-based driver. The incident forced drivers of public transportation and ride-hailing services, such as Go-Jek, Grab and Uber, to sign a peace agreement.

The upcoming fleet and fare caps will be included in a ministerial regulation on public transportation services that operate without fixed routes. Lawmakers are currently revising the regulation, which is expected to come into force by the beginning of April, Transportation Ministry secretary general Sugihardjo said.

According to the statement, the revised regulation will also outline several new requirements for drivers of app-based ride-hailing services, including meeting a mandatory minimum engine displacement capacity, providing evidence of direct ownership of the vehicles in use, obtaining roadworthiness certificates and paying higher taxes.

The government plans to sanction drivers of popular ride-hailing services who fail to comply with all the clauses stipulated in the new regulation.