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Jakarta Post

Traditional drivers stage rally protesting ride-sharing apps in Surakarta

  • Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java   /   Wed, March 15, 2017   /  04:18 pm
Traditional drivers stage rally protesting ride-sharing apps in Surakarta Violent rally: Dozens of conventional taxi, 'ojek' and 'becak' drivers stage a rally protesting app-based ride-sharing services in Surakarta, Central Java, on March 15. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Dozens of taxi, conventional ojek (motorcycle taxi) and becak drivers staged a rally to protest the presence of ride-sharing app Go-Jek in Surakarta, Central Java, on Wednesday.

Fistfights erupted as taxi and Go-Jek drivers clashed during the rally.

The conventional transportation drivers staged a protest because app-based ojek drivers had formed a base in an area near Purwosari Station. The area earlier served as a base for conventional taxi, ojek and becak drivers for years.

“If they want to operate as app-based ojek drivers, so be it. They do not need a base here. They know the areas near the station are ours,” said the rally’s coordinator, Tommy.

(Read also: Vandalism taints massive strike of public minivan drivers in Bandung)

He said Go-Jek drivers had used Purwosari Station as their base for the last three months. Conventional taxi and ojek drivers repeatedly asked them to move on from the area.

“They insisted on occupying the area, however. We cannot abide this,” said Tommy.

As the number of protesters they faced was far higher, the Go-Jek drivers decided to leave the area near Purwosari Station.

The taxi drivers, followed by conventional ojek and becak drivers, then moved on to Surakarta City Hall and continued their rally there. Clashes erupted again when dozens of Go-Jek drivers approached them, attacking several taxi drivers. They got into fistfights with the protesters but police personnel managed to stop the clash.

“We urge the Surakarta administration to ban app-based transportation services such as Go-Jek, Grab and Uber. They have taken away about one half of our income,” said Ismoyo, 34, an ojek driver. (ebf)

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