Sat, 21 Feb 2004

'It's bad business for taxis already'

In addition to the already stiff competition among taxi operators in Jakarta, the city administration is planning to endorse the launch of a new service using Kijang minivan taxis which can accommodate more passengers and luggage. The Jakarta Post talked to some residents about the issue.

Arif Asmadi, 25, is small-scale trader. He lives in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta:

I agree with the plan because the Kijang taxi can take in more passengers so I can go with several of my friends and my family members in one vehicle only. Also, I can take more goods along than I can in an ordinary angkot.

Besides, I think the Kijang taxi can help decrease traffic jams in Jakarta by encouraging people to use this vehicle rather than their private cars if the Kijang taxi is comfortable enough.

However, the government should be careful in deciding the number of Kijang taxis that can operate because the existing taxis could lose passengers if there are too many Kijang taxis. The existing taxi drivers wouldn't be able to earn a living. Strikes would become the order of the day and that would create more problems.

Yasin, 48, is a taxi driver. He lives with his wife and children in Duren Sawit, East Jakarta:

I've seen such taxis in operation in the last two weeks, but they only take passengers from the airport to five-star hotels.

Although their number is small now, we are afraid they will take our customers away, especially those who come in a group or have a lot of luggage.

I don't have the right to say anything about this to the government, but if such taxis were allowed in larger numbers across the city, it would mean bad business for the rest of us.

--The Jakarta Post