Published on December 11th, 2016 | by Guest


Ride-Sharing Apps – Makes the Taxi Drivers Agitated and Hit the Street in Protest

Taxi drivers from many countries are very much agitated by the pitch of Ride-Sharing through app companies into their countries. Likewise thousands of taxi drivers from Jakarta also were found protesting recently, seeking the government to take action against the ride-sharing app companies coming into the country. The protest brought almost all parts of Jakarta to a standstill where they were demanding action from the government to stop ride-sharing apps like Uber, GrabTaxi from expanding into their country too. It was about ten thousand taxi drivers who came into the street for protesting as their income is worse affected by many app companies stepping into the market and eventually increasing the competition. As the ride-hailing app providers trying to establish themselves, there have been many similar protest reported all over the world which was carried out by the country’s own traditional taxi drivers everywhere around the world and in few countries the government has accepted few obligations of the taxi industry drivers and taken action against the companies by regulating their rules which all worked in favor of the protestors. However in some places the drivers get violent and act rudely and cause too much disturbances to the public. In Jakarta the taxi drivers tend to act very violent that caused too much damage to the people as well as to the public properties. They were found setting sire to the tires of the cabs and also confronting their own fellow taxi drivers for not participating in the protests and continue operating the rides.

After the union of taxi drivers in Jakarta announced about the demonstration to be carried out by them, the government deployed 7000 police and military officials to monitor the demonstration. About 100 protestors were found to turn violent by burning tires and bu doing other activities causing damage to public and public properties. They were all arrested and the police authorities claimed that investigation is happening with the injured people and accordingly actions would be taken on the arrested protestors.

As a precautionary step ride-hailing giants like Grab and Go-Jek informed their motorcycle taxi drivers to leave their official logo printed jackets and helmets back at home to avoid any conflict that might arise with taxi drivers protesting.

What the protestors has to say?

In Jakarta, Indonesia, the government is facing difficulty in implying rules and regulations over the ride-hailing app providers due to their rapid growth on various aspects like governing license, taxes and safety. The government is literally confused as it is sending multiple messages in different ways for the same issue through the senators. Few are stating that the apps are banned until their operations meet rules requiring them to register their cars and drivers, pass road-worthiness tests and set fares similar to taxis. However Rudiantara, the country’s Communication and Information minister, said rather than being blocked, the services should receive assistance to legally operate. The companies are currently processing licenses that would allow them to operate as technology companies in cooperation with car-rental companies. Finally Luhut Pandjaitan, the coordinating minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, sought a resolution stating that the President Joko Widodo had advised officials to evaluate the law and come to an agreement and for that Mr. Rudiantara and Mr. Jonan met and discussed and came to a solution.

The taxi drivers while speaking to the media told us that “Cab driving is dangerous work out of the many other and still it remains low-paid but however offers opportunities for a reasonable living, at the price of long hours of work. In general in most of the countries cab business is divided into two segments black cabs which can pick up passengers on the street; and mini-cabs which can only accept fares booked in advance. ‘Black cabs’ charge higher fares, are regulated by city authorities, and drivers must pass ‘The Knowledge’, a difficult exam on geography of the country, which takes three or four years to complete. The SF cab business is less segmented; however ‘Yellow cab’ drivers must pass an exam and work with a regulated ‘medallion’ — a license to drive in the city, with medallions changing hands for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Regulation impacts drivers’ experiences heavily and in the de-regulated taxis markets increased numbers of drivers compete for passengers. In regulated cities however, costs are higher due to the price of ‘medallion’ or whichever regulatory tool permits them to drive. The SF taxi organisation statistics suggest an income of around USD$11 an hour for drivers and US Labour Statistics calculate an average salary of USD$14.52 per hour (Hara 2011). This large variation is in part due to chronic underreporting of salaries for tax avoidance purposes, with as much as 75 per cent of drivers underreporting income, (Hara 2011) making the ‘average’ driver elusive.

Impact on Taxi Drivers

One impact of the regulations is that traditional taxi vehicles (the yellow and black cabs) are significantly more expensive than regular cars. This is because of the additional requirements such as a license to drive which means that drivers have large outgoing costs to meet before breaking even each day. According to a driver he claims that they are not earning anything for the first three hours of their nine-hour shift. To get passengers, both black cab drivers and SF drivers relied on watching for passengers hailing them on the street (although some used digital despatchers like Flywheel and Hailo). The country’s traditional taxi drivers described the need to visually screen or ‘interview’ potential passengers before they got in to assess whether the ride might be worthwhile or ‘troublesome’.

As taxi driving is dangerous some caution exhibited by passengers also seems reasonable. To add to these issues, incumbent drivers had to find good fares; one driver described how he targets hotels for passengers in need of an airport ride. Amongst drivers there was considerable competition over passengers and recent work discusses issues of taxi drivers’ low mutual dependence and high mobility. Once hailed, the driver needs to navigate to the destination requested by the passenger as soon as possible in order to avoid other drivers getting to the passenger first. The black cab drivers made least use of technology, relying instead upon their distinctive, expert knowledge of the city, which they were quick to defend — one driver mentioned that whenever pitted against a ‘GPS’, the black cab invariably won. London mini-cab and SF drivers navigated using a mix of their own knowledge of the city and GPS. Clearly the GPS has become an established part of taxi driving. The interaction with the customer is one part of the drivers’ job that requires constant assessment and flexibility. There was also a darker side of the relationship of the driver, with passengers behaving inappropriately in the car and causing additional time and cost for the driver and damaging his property are also potential risk. Working for the night shift causes particular problems for the drivers where the passengers tend to get themselves drunk and behave violent. Threats also include passengers running from a cab without paying or even attempting to rob the driver. Indeed, independent cab driving is a dangerous business and they need to be supported by the government very well.


Author Bio:

Anand Rajendran is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zoplay. He is a writer and coffee lover. He has is a graduate in Computer Science and Post Graduate in Entrepreneurship and leadership from Ulyanovsk State University, Russia. He is a passionate blogger & SEO Specialist. Zoplay is a Software Development company which has launched Cabily Script which is a Uber Clone with Android and iOS apps.

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