2,000 taxi drivers gather at Monas to protest against ride-sharing apps

Like in much the rest of the world, the existence of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Grab have been largely rejected by conventional taxi drivers who complain that cheap and reliable private car hailing services are unfair competitors since they are not legally registered as public transportation vehicles.

This morning, at least 2,000 taxi drivers, along with city bus and bajaj drivers, staged a protest in and around the National Monument (Monas), calling for the government to ban ride-sharing apps altogether.

“Please think about us [legally registered public transportation services]. Before all these apps existed, we were able to bring home Rp 350 thousand daily. Now, we have to be lucky to bring home just Rp 100 thousand a day,” said Supriyadi, a protesting Blue Bird taxi driver, as quoted by Detik.

The protesters demanded to discuss the matter with Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama at City Hall and President Joko Widodo at the State Palace.

Ahok today sided with the protesters and warned that he would “catch” Uber and Grab drivers if they don’t pay the appropriate taxes and apply stickers to their vehicles signifying that they are transporting paying passengers.

But will the government agree to the protesters’ demand and ban ride-sharing apps altogether? It’s certainly something they attempted not too long ago, only to quickly backpedal and cancel the ban less than a day later following public outrage.

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