Date
30 March 2017
A Jakarta transport officer walks past impounded cars from Uber and GrabTaxi. The ride hailing companies have received official approval to operate in the Indonesian capital. Photo: Reuters
A Jakarta transport officer walks past impounded cars from Uber and GrabTaxi. The ride hailing companies have received official approval to operate in the Indonesian capital. Photo: Reuters

Uber, Singapore rival get green light in Jakarta

Uber Technologies Inc. has received the green light to operate its ride-hailing service in Jakarta after months of battling taxi companies and a police investigation.

Transportation agency head Andri Yansyah confirmed that Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has officially given permission for Uber and Singapore-based GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. to operate in the capital.

The decision was conveyed in a closed meeting Monday between the tech startups and city officials, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The approvals follow a decision by the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board last month to allow Uber to set up a foreign investment company.

Uber still needs to create a legal entity, Yansyah said.

GrabTaxi already operates through a legal entity, PT Grab Taxi Indonesia.

The legal entities will pay tax and have the right to make money in Indonesia.

The companies are already providing insurance to drivers and passengers.

The agency also expects Uber and GrabTaxi to work together with existing car-rental companies as they seek to be technology companies that create mobile apps rather than standalone transportation companies,  Yansyah said.

Jakarta’s approval follows a police investigation of Uber in June after complaints by a group representing taxis and other transportation operators, Organization of Land Transportation Owners.

The group claimed Uber violated Indonesian laws by not having a taxi license, setting its own fares, and making transactions with credit cards.

During the three-month probe, police seized 25 Uber vehicles and five from GrabCar, GrabTaxi’s car-hailing service, Uber told the Wall Street Journal in September.

The  cars are to be released pending court decision,Yansyah said Tuesday.

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