The government will put a new regulation into effect next month that will strictly regulate online car-hailing services and impose tariffs and force drivers and companies to register licenses and vehicle registration numbers to the Ministry of Communications and Information, a minister said on Thursday (19/10).
The new ministerial regulation is a revision of an earlier draft that came into effect after mass protests by conventional taxi drivers, who demanded an equal playing field with online ride-hailing services like Go-Car, Uber and Grab.
Authorities will force online ride-hailing companies and drivers to register with the Communications Ministry and provide government officials access to company data to monitor tax payments and the number of drivers each service employs across the country.
The government will also seek to set a new floor price for app-based taxi services under the regulation over monopoly concerns, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said.
“We want to create equality,” Budi told reporters at his office. “With equality, all stakeholders will be able to live side by side.”
App-based taxi services will also have to provide drivers and customers with insurance plans, according to the regulation. Their fleet quotas and area of operations will be determined by local governments.
Drivers will have to posses public transport driver’s licenses and must be incorporated in a public transport company or a cooperation of at least five drivers. By joining the latter, drivers will be able to retain ownership of their car.
The government held a public review on the new regulation in Jakarta last week and will hold further reviews in Bandung (West Java), Semarang (Central Java), Surabaya (East Java), Makassar (South Sulawesi) and Medan (North Sumatra) before it comes into effect on Nov. 1, Budi said.
“We want to regulate and hope all are willing to maintain commitment,” he said.
In August, the Supreme Court overruled the ministry’s previous regulation that included stipulations about company logos on cars, minimum and maximum fare limits, car registrations under company names, operational area limits and online car-hailing fleet quotas.
Conventional cabbies, including drivers with Blue Bird and Express, staged mass protests in Jakarta early last year over concerns that app-based taxi services were threatening their businesses. Since then, some taxi companies have formed alliances with the online services, like Blue Bird and Go-jek and Express Taxindo Utama and Uber.