The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) has called for the city administration to impose sanctions on taxi companies whose drivers were involved in violence during a large-scale protest in the capital on Tuesday, amid rising public uproar regarding the demonstration.
Calls were issued for taxi companies to take responsibility as the strike caused traffic congestion when some of the protestors blocked major roads in the capital. The strike also caused citizens to struggle with getting around the city on Tuesday. Transjakarta buses, for example, could not operate normally as their routes were blocked.
"We object if the demonstration was considered a drivers’ initiative as the protesters used the companies’ uniforms and companies’ assets in the protest. It was a corporate action," YLKI executive director Sudaryatmo told thejakartapost.com on Wednesday.
The companies should have not used its drivers as a shield to oppose the existence of growing ride-hailing applications that offer better services to the public, he said, adding that the mushrooming number of app-based transportation services should instead encourage conventional taxi operators to improve their services.
Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama also warned taxi companies to take firm actions against drivers who were involved in the riot, saying he would not hesitate to revoke their business permits if they failed to do so.
Publicly listed taxi firm Blue Bird has denied that it mobilized its drivers for the protests. The company claimed it issued a letter urging its drivers not to join the protest, Blue Bird vice president for business development said Noni Purnomo on Tuesday, and also pledged to fire drivers who were found to have been involved in acts of violence.
Blue Bird drivers were among the 10,000 workers from the Land Transportation Drivers Association (PPAD) who took to the streets to protest ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Grab and Go-Jek.
The YLKI also urged the government to create a regulation for app-based transportation services to accommodate the interests of all stakeholders. The existence of such apps provided an alternative to conventional public transportation, and thus needed to be embraced and supported, it added.
"If there are more public transportation options, it will surely bring benefits to the public," Sudaryatmo said. (rin)
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