Motorcycle taxis finally regulated

Last week, the Indonesia Ministry of Transport finally released the first regulation on motorcycle taxis in Indonesia since their introduction nearly a decade ago. Currently there are two operators of such a service in Indonesia: Go-Jek (Indonesian) and Grab (Singaporean). We wrote about Go-Jek and its ancillary services in this blog, and suggested that the service should be regulated by the authorities. Even though it is an informal form of public transport, it is widely used … but without any public investment.

The new law finally recognises motorcycle taxis as public transport – and as such, it has now a legal basis to operate. The
law mainly regulates standard fares (in its ancillary regulations), passenger safety, and the partnership between driver and company. The new standard fares are intended to realize the drivers’ longstanding demands for a decent daily income – a goal which is under pressure because of competition between operators and operational costs – and, at the same time, to maintain a viable business case for the operators. In terms of passenger safety, the new law requires drivers to possess driving licences and obey traffic rules, and regulates issues surrounding emergencies and accident compensation.

It is now time for Indonesian city governments to think of how such a service fits into urban mobility plans. Its popularity cannot be ignored, especially among those who previously lacked mobility. They can now get around like never before and are better connected to economic opportunities. However, as a result, the number of vehicle-kilometres has also soared and congestion increased. Cities need to integrate motorcycle taxis with the formal public transport system to ensure that the travel demands of city dwellers are met in a sustainable way (i.e., by not diverting riders from or replacing transit, cycling and walking). A good starting point could be to identify what factors are contributing to the high demand for motorcycle taxis.

Although it mainly targets ride-hailing cars, this newly published report from ITDP on A Policy Framework for Managing Transportation Network Companies/TNC might be of interest. It includes four case studies from different continents. ITDP has suggested that the following four critical regulatory elements may help cities develop TNC regulations that contribute to broader transportation and sustainability goals:

  1. Pricing that reflects the social and environmental costs of the service operation.
  2. Metrics that quantify impacts of TNCs on congestion, safety, emissions, etc.
  3. Data, by requiring operators to provide data that enables cities to develop policy enforcement and evaluation mechanisms.
  4. Regional coordination to facilitate connectivity through multi-jurisdictional regulation.

If designed and implemented correctly, the regulation of informal public transport will enable cities to maximise the potential of the service and to reduce its negative impacts.


Photos courtesy of

2 thoughts on “Motorcycle taxis finally regulated

    1. Thank you for your comment Bapu. If regulated, motorcycle taxis (ideally using electric motorcycles) will give more options to travellers especially in sub-urban area with low public transport service.

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