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Ride-hailing apps spark violent Jakarta protests

Taxis lined up in Jakarta on March 22 during a protest against ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Grab. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

The tug-of-war between traditional taxis and ride-hailing apps turned violent in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Joe Cochrane reports for the New York Times that public transportation drivers blocked roads and highways during protests against Uber and other ride-sharing services that threaten to erode their livelihoods.

The already traffic-clogged capital of Indonesia was gridlocked as a result, with jams that stretched miles, the article says. The protests occurred as the use of car- and motorcycle-based apps surge in Jakarta, with new ventures offering not just rides but also deliveries and even massages, Cochrane reports. The rise of these services is driven by two factors: low costs and wide use of Internet-connected mobile phones.

Taxi services complain that drivers for these competitors are not licensed, required to pay state taxes or obtain annual permits. The nation’s communications minister tells the Times that rather than ban the new services, he will ensure that they comply with existing public transit requirements.

Read More on Jakarta’s traffic woes here and here

New York Times

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