The Jakarta Post
After previously targeting ride-booking company Uber, the Jakarta administration is currently targeting GrabCar, a private hire car booking service provided through the GrabTaxi mobile application.
GrabCar was launched in Jakarta earlier this month with 100 cars. Similar to Uber, GrabCar provides passengers with cars with black license plates, which indicates that a car is privately owned. GrabCar's fares are also lower than that of licensed taxi companies such as Blue Bird and Express Taxi. However, GrabCar takes cash payments, unlike Uber, which only accepts payments through credit card.
Transportation Agency head Andri Yansyah said, however, that both GrabCar and Uber violated Law No. 22/2009 on traffic and land transportation.
'We are cooperating with the Jakarta Organda [Organization of Land Transportation Owners] to confiscate such cars. Services like GrabCar and Uber violate the regulations and we will continue to search for those who operate under the mobile applications,' Andri said on the phone over the weekend.
He said that late on Friday, the agency with the help of Organda seized 10 cars operating with Uber. The cars were then taken to a lot in Pulogadung, East Jakarta.
Among Organda members are taxi operators like Express Taxi and Blue Bird group, whose director, Adrianto Djokosoetono became the head of national Organda in June.
A week after Adrianto's appointment, the Jakarta Police seized five cars working with Uber and arrested the drivers. Organda also reported the Silicon Valley-based company for fraud, electronic information and transaction crimes and money laundering.
In response to the confiscation and arrests, Uber stated that every vehicle in Jakarta on the Uber platform was a registered for-hire car with full commercial insurance and met all local licensing and registration requirements, including all applicable local tax laws.
Andri went on to say that the regulations were clear, but both GrabCar and Uber had failed to comply with them.
'They [GrabCar and Uber] may operate only if they have fulfilled the seven requirements of a public transportation company,' he said.
First, he said, a company must be a registered legal entity and have a letter of business domicile and have a nuisance order clearance. Furthermore, a company must also have an operating license and a minimum of five vehicles.
A public transportation company, he went, on must also have a pool with a workshop for the servicing and maintenance of its vehicles and must meet all administrative requirements to operate.
'GrabCar and Uber may operate only if they have fulfilled these seven requirements. We will continue to crack down on the two services as long as they operate before fulfilling these seven requirements,' Andri said.
Separately, GrabTaxi head of marketing Kiki Rizki said the company had fulfilled the seven requirements before GrabCar services began operation.
She said she had conveyed the matter to Andri.
'[We] confirm that we have fulfilled the seven requirements. During a recent discussion, [Andri] asked us to show him evidence of documents to prove that we meet all the requirements,' Kiki told The Jakarta Post over the weekend.
She said the company would ask to speak to Andri again to prove that the company and its services were legal. GrabTaxi, Kiki said, would continue to operate its GrabCar services.
'[...] we will continue our services [because we have fulfilled the requirements]. We only need to show [Andri] our documents to prove our validity,' Kiki said.
Aside from Indonesia, GrabTaxi's GrabCar service is available in a number of countries in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
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