Expect green jacket sales to soar as motorcycle taxis confirmed exempt from ERP

File photo of a Gojek driver with a passenger
File photo of a Gojek driver with a passenger

Jakarta’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) still seems some ways away, yet already people are thinking about how to exploit the policy’s loopholes.

Last we heard, ERP is going to be enforced on 25 major Jakarta roads sometime this year. ERP systems charge drivers passing through gates using an automatic system utilizing receivers placed on vehicles. Under draft regulations, the fee to pass affected roads will range between IDR5,000-19,900 (US$0.32-1.28), effective everyday from 5am to 10pm.

Hundreds of motorcycle taxi (ojol, as they are colloquially known) drivers staged a protest in front of City Hall in Central Jakarta yesterday, demanding that they be exempt from ERP rules as they are still recovering from economic hardships brought about by the pandemic.

They seem to have gotten their wish, as Jakarta Transportation Agency Head Syafrin Lupito today said that public transportation vehicles will be exempt from ERP. Ojol, as well as rideshare cars, fall into this category since an amendment to public transportation regulations in 2018.

“The plan is for these two modes of transport to be exempt [from ERP],” Syafrin said.

Under the draft regulations for ERP, eight types of vehicles will be exempt from paying to drive on affected roads, namely electric motorcycles; public transportation vehicles with yellow plates; official government, police, and military vehicles; vehicles registered to diplomatic missions; ambulances; hearses; fire department vehicles; and rideshare vehicles.

Officials have not explained how they would identify ojols and rideshare cars from their imposters. 

Online, netizens have pointed out one obvious loophole to the exemption: the fact that one can buy replicas of the green jacket uniforms worn by drivers of the two largest ojol apps, Grab and Gojek, for just around IDR100K (US$6.61).

We sure hope the city’s officials will iron out all the fine details before launching ERP in the capital.

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