11 October 2019 (closed)
USD/IDR (14,140) +14.00 +0.10%
EUR/IDR (15,591) +14.03 +0.09%
Jakarta Composite Index (6,105.80) +82.16 +1.36%
Today, Indonesian taxi and public transportation drivers staged another demonstration in Jakarta. They protest against the presence of app-based mobile applications such as Uber Taxi, GrabCar and Go-Jek that all recently started offering transportation services in the bigger cities of Indonesia and have become increasingly popular, at the expense of the financial performance of established transportation services such as taxis, public buses, bajaj (three-wheeled scooters) and ojek (motor taxi). The demonstration turned violent on Tuesday morning.
On social media various videos were uploaded today (22/03) that show taxi drivers - for example Blue Bird and Taxi Express drivers - attacking taxis of those drivers who chose to work instead of participating in the demonstration. Videos show angry demonstrators jumping on taxi vehicles (some carrying passengers) and smashing the windows of these vehicles. Due to traffic congestion these taxis could not escape from anarchist actions when driving on the streets near the demonstration.
A local news station (MetroTV) interviewed a Blue Bird taxi driver whose car was demolished by a group of Taxi Express drivers. Both companies - Blue Bird Group and Express Transindo Utama - are the country's leading taxi operators and therefore also rivals. There also occurred a stone-throwing fight between taxi drivers and Go-Jek drivers in Jalan Sudirman. Reportedly, the fight started after taxi drivers had pulled a Go-Jek driver from the road.
There are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 drivers involved in today's demonstration. Last week a much smaller demonstration took place (involving an estimated 2,000 drivers) that called for the ban of "illegal" mobile-based transportation services apps. The massive demonstration today is caused by the Indonesian government's decision late last week to allow the app-based transportation services to operate as a cooperative. The protestors, on the other hand, demand a full ban on these services. They regard the newcomers as illegal drivers who steal their income. The app-based services can offer cheap services as they don't face the same costs. Some taxi drivers claim their income has been curtailed by 60 percent since mobile apps such as Uber and Go-Jek have been active.
The demonstration causes great traffic congestion on and around the streets of Jalan Gatot Subroto, Jalan Sudirman, MH Thamrin, and Daan Mogot. Based on statements made on social media, the wider public condemns this violent protest. On social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter many messages surface that direct their anger at the taxi drivers (and taxi companies behind these drivers) that stage this protest.
Despite these events shares of Blue Bird and Express Transindo Utama listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange had risen 0.39 percent and 3.86 percent, respectively, by 13:15 pm local Jakarta time.