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Jakarta Post

Surviving the streets of virus-stricken Jakarta

Wed, April 29, 2020   /   04:28 am
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    An ojek (motorcycle taxi) is parked in front of a closed shop in Green Ville housing complex in Tanjung Duren, West Jakarta. Many stores in the area have closed indefinitely following the coronavirus outbreak in the capital. JP/Sutrisno Jambul

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    Online ojek drivers are only permitted to provide food and goods delivery services as the Jakarta administration has banned them from carrying passengers during the large-scale social restrictions period (PSBB). JP/Sutrisno Jambul

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    Despite the ban, some ojek drivers still take the risk of transporting passengers to earn enough money for their families. The photo shows an ojek driver in Karet Kuningan, South Jakarta. JP/Sutrisno Jambul

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    An online ojek driver drives past a kiosk in Kemanggisan, West Jakarta. Customers often share their food takeout with the driver as a tip. JP/Sutrisno Jambul

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    This Grab Kitchen merchant in Petamburan, West Jakarta, is still taking orders during the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) period in Jakarta. Grab Kitchen is part of the multi-service platform Grab. JP/Sutrisno Jambul

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    Budi, a 17-year-old high school student, became an online ojek driver around West Jakarta after his school temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. JP/ Sutrisno Jambul

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    M. Rosyid, an ojek driver, awaits customers at an ojek station in Kemandoran, South Jakarta. Multi-service platforms have disabled their ojek service, prompting some online ojek drivers to seek passengers at ojek stations. JP/Sutrisno Jambul

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    An ojek driver lies on his motorcycle near Palmerah railway station in West Jakarta. The decreasing number of customers has escalated the tension between conventional and online ojek drivers in the area. JP/Sutrisno Jambul

Sutrisno Jambul

Motorcycle taxis, better known as ojek, no longer swarm Jakarta’s streets following the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Jakarta administration has imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) from April 10 until May 22 with the possibility of extension. Ojek drivers are banned from transporting passengers during this period.

This situation has significantly impacted the earnings of ojek drivers, both conventional and online ones.

As ride-hailing platforms have temporarily disabled the ojek service, their driver-partners are relying on food and package delivery services. Some have decided to become conventional ojek drivers so they can transport passengers, although it is unlawful.

However, being a conventional ojek driver is no easier. More often than not, they wait the whole day and cannot get any passengers.

The diminishing earnings of ojek drivers has caught public attention. Some organizations and individuals arranged donations to provide meals and staple food for the drivers to help them survive this difficult time. [yps]