Jakarta. Ride-hailing service Grab and its homegrown counterpart, Go-Jek, have responded to the West Java government's recent ban on their operations by urging for dialog and a review of the decision.
"We don't think it's wise to ban online taxis as it's not in line with public aspirations based on the feedback we receive from our social media platform," Grab Indonesia managing director Ridzki Kramadibrata said in a statement on Thursday (12/10).
The West Java government announced earlier this week that ride-hailing services such as Grab, Go-Jek and Uber must temporarily halt their operations in the province until they are fully regulated by the Ministry of Transportation. It remains unclear whether the government was referring to the on-demand car service, or the motorcycle service, which has never been regulated.
The provincial government argues that it wants to create a level playing field between online-based services and their traditional public transportation counterparts, such as taxis and public minivans, known as angkot, which operate on designated routes.
Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil published the announcement on his Instagram account, which immediately elicited complaints from residents who said online-based transportation services are far more reliable than their traditional counterparts.
"Our driver-partners are also part of the West Java community, with many of them only relying on their jobs as Grab driver-partners for an income," Ridzki said.
In a statement received by the Jakarta Globe, the management of Go-Jek said the ban would take its toll on both driver-partners and customers, who have already become accustomed to the on-demand services.
"The on-demand services, such as Go-Car, came with a solution for an easy and comfortable mode of transportation while also providing opportunities for informal workers to improve their livelihoods," the company said in the statement. It noted that it has created "hundreds of thousands" of jobs in the country.
Go-Jek said it already has several permits to operate in Indonesia, including business trade licenses and company registration certificates.