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Jakarta Post

Jakarta may shut Uber over permit violation

  • Dewanti A. Wardhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 20, 2014   /  09:02 am

The Jakarta Transportation Agency will prohibit premium taxi service Uber from operating because it has not been issued a permit, according to a city official.

Uber, which was launched in Jakarta on Aug. 13, provides services through a smartphone application that allows users to hire drivers for private rides or to arrange rideshares with other users. Uber provides its users with luxury cars, such as the Toyota Camry, Toyota Alphard or the Mercedes Benz
S-Class, among others.

According to Transportation Agency head Muhammad Akbar, his agency had not issued a permit for Uber, as the company had not asked for one. '€œIf they are operating, then they are operating illegally,'€ Akbar told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

He added that prior to Uber'€™s launch, the Transportation Agency had invited the company to discuss regulations and permits. However, he said representatives from the company had not responded.

Akbar said that Uber'€™s service was categorized as public transportation and must receive a permit from the city administration in order to legally operate.

Uber, established in 2009, currently operates in 170 cities. The company previously had similar trouble with local laws in Australia, Canada, Germany and the US.

Meanwhile, in India, the UK, Taiwan and South Korea, local taxi operators have protested against Uber as they could not compete with its services.

'€œMoreover, all public transportation vehicles must have yellow license plates. However, Uber'€™s vehicles have black license plates. We can'€™t tell the difference between Uber'€™s cars and private cars,'€ Akbar said.

The 2003 bylaw on motorized vehicles stipulates that all public transportation must use yellow license plates. Public transportation, according to the bylaw, are all vehicles used for transportation in which the driver collects money from the passenger.

Akbar further said that the city administration would cooperate with the Communications and Information Ministry to block Uber'€™s mobile application.

'€œWe'€™re currently coordinating with the Communications and Information Ministry to block the application,'€ he said.

Separately, Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) head Safruan Sinungan echoed Akbar, adding that Uber'€™s rates are not in accordance with the gubernatorial ruling of 2013.

'€œUber'€™s tariff rate is not in accordance with the 2013 gubernatorial ruling, which says that the flag-fall rate for regular taxis ranges from Rp 6,000 [51 US cents] to Rp 7,000, and per kilometer ranges from Rp 3,000 at Rp 3,600,'€ Safruan told reporters at City Hall in Central Jakarta on Tuesday.

According to its website, Uber'€™s flag-fall rate is Rp 7,000 and its rate per kilometer is Rp 2,850.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama also criticized Uber for not having a permit.

'€œIf they don'€™t have a permit then they will also not pay tax. The company is very sketchy. We don'€™t know who owns it, where their office is or how their management structure operates,'€ Ahok said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

Meanwhile, Uber Southeast Asia regional manager Mike Brown denied that the company did not have a permit to operate in Jakarta.

'€œOur partners are all licensed, authorized transportation companies and we are fully compliant with the laws of Indonesia,'€ Brown told the Post on Tuesday.

He further said that Uber had proved a new transport alternative in Jakarta, which has been widely welcomed by many residents. He added that Uber could help reduce traffic congestion and improve transport reliability, availability and safety.

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