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Jakarta Post

Anies wants 'ojek' drivers to keep picking up passengers despite govt restrictions

  • Alya Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 9, 2020   /   05:35 pm
Anies wants 'ojek' drivers to keep picking up passengers despite govt restrictions Waiting for a buzz: An ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver waits in a parking shelter in Depok, West Java, on Oct. 14, 2019. (The Jakarta Post/Ricky Yudhistira )

Even though the Health Ministry has prohibited app-based ojek (motorcycle taxis) from picking up passengers as part of efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is calling for exceptions for drivers that follow stringent health measures.

The governor said the provincial administration had coordinated with ride-hailing service providers over transporting passengers, with the latter claiming to have already put in place the necessary measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“Drivers should be allowed to take passengers and goods as long as they follow the measures,” Anies said during a press briefing at City Hall on Wednesday.

Health Ministry Regulation No. 9/2020 on the guidelines for large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) stipulates various restrictions, including the ban on ojek services for passengers. However, ojek drivers are still permitted to transport goods.

Read also: Jakarta will impose stronger mobility restrictions on Friday. Here’s what you need to know.

Anies said the administration was discussing the matter with the central government prior to the issuance of a gubernatorial decree on the PSBB, which is scheduled to take effect on Friday.

The forthcoming decree is meant to formalize the new quarantine status and sanctions for violators.

“The decree is almost ready. We’re asking for the government’s permission to allow ojek drivers to transport passengers.”

The nation’s app-based ojek services association demanded on Wednesday compensation from the government for their projected losses from the PSBB, as 70 percent of their income comes from transporting passengers.

A Statqo Analytics report said the two ride-hailing service providers in the country, Grab and Gojek, had experienced a 16 percent and 14 percent downturn, respectively, among its active users in the last week of March.

Grab Indonesia managing director Neneng Goenadi said the company hoped drivers could transport passengers to select destinations such as hospitals, markets and minimarkets.

She said that Grab Indonesia would adhere to the government’s regulation, and had instructed its drivers to wear masks, wash their hands, disinfect motorbikes and practice physical distancing.

Read also: Satellite cities to follow Jakarta’s lead on large-scale social restrictions

Meanwhile, Gojek is conducting studies and having discussions with the government regarding the regulation, with plans to comply with the government’s decision.

“We have made various efforts to help our partners do their jobs safely during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Gojek corporate affairs chief Nila Marita said in a written statement.

According to data compiled by the Jakarta administration as of Thursday noon, there were 1,632 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the capital with 149 fatalities. Nationwide, there are 3,293 cases and 280 deaths.