Car-hailing giant Uber and taxi operator titan Express Transindo Utama announced on Monday, December 12, a pilot programme that integrates Uber technology with Express’ taxi operations and car financing for Jakarta’s local drivers.
The partnership entails Uber getting access to Express’ fleet of around 11,000 taxis as well as its more than 17,000 drivers. The deal will likewise provide the U.S. firm the needed help with compliance regulations on getting a partner of Indonesian identity.
Express drivers who will register with the new programme may now take orders on the uberX service, giving them the opportunity to earn supplemental income with their existing business. The UberX option that allows up to four riders per trip (of the Uber app) provides a low-cost option for their users.
The partnership will allow Uber drivers, more popularly known as ‘driver-partners,’ to lease vehicles without branding or any taxi attribute from Express with monthly payment installments that can be made through the income generated by using the Uber app.
The decision of the taxi-hailing company follows similar partnerships of competitor apps with local companies. Ride-hailing app Go-Jek partnered with PT Blue Bird Tbk, Indonesia’s biggest taxi operator, on payment, technology and promotions earlier this year. Southeast Asian firm Grab likewise signed a payment partnership with the Lippo Group.
In a country with 250 million people, it’s no surprise ride-hailing services have constantly struggled with regulatory challenges. The Indonesian government has put up regulations, including vehicle safety tests and licensing for drivers, among others, for strict compliance.