Jakarta taxi drivers hold mass protest

Media captionWatch: People protesting transport apps in Jakarta attack a taxi for not participating

Thousands of Indonesian taxi drivers have brought parts of the capital, Jakarta, to a standstill in a protest against transport apps.

The drivers say ride-hailing apps, such as Uber and Grab, have severely reduced their salaries.

Footage from Jakarta showed some protesters attacking vehicles and apparently threatening taxi drivers not taking part in the strike.

The drivers have been joined by bus and “bajaj” motorbike drivers.

Image caption

The protest was much larger than similar action taken last week

Mobile apps like Grab and Uber have disrupted the transportation industry across Asia, and other parts of the world.

Taxi drivers say they been disadvantaged because the apps do not face the same costs and regulations as they do.

‘They are destroying us’

Image caption

The taxi drivers have been joined by bajaj drivers

Image copyright

Image caption

Images showed protesters angrily targeting drivers not taking part in the strike

The BBC’s Rebecca Henschke in Jakarta says the protest is far bigger than similar action taken last week. She said it was impossible to get a taxi in the city centre.

The protesters have blocked roads outside the parliament, the city administration offices and the ministry of communication, causing massive traffic jams across the already heavily congested city.

“They are destroying us,” Salahuddin, who uses one name like many Indonesians, told the BBC. “We pay tax but because Uber uses private cars they don’t. I am fighting for my survival.”

Ahmad Rahoyo who operates a bajaj taxi said he used to earn up to 100,000 rupiah ($10; £7) a day, “but since the apps entered Indonesia just covering my costs is hard”.

Image caption

Transport apps have disrupted the transportation industry in many cities in Asia

One man, Hans, said he saw drivers blocking a bus lane.

“When they saw a taxi driver accepting a passenger they straight away ran over to the vehicle and told the passengers to get out of the taxi,” he said.

“They threatened them with rocks. I didn’t see them hit anyone but they destroyed the rear vision mirrors of one taxi.”

Indonesia’s government has appeared divided over the issue.

The transport ministry has said it is in favour of a ban on ride-hailing apps, since the online and mobile app-based services are not registered as public transport.

However the communications ministry, which oversees such companies, has said they are legitimately allowed to operate.

President Joko Widodo has said new technology should be embraced and not banned.

comments powered by Disqus