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Bali Transport – no free choice of transportation for Bali visitors!

Bali Transport – Limiting Bali visitors access to a free transportation marketplace!

Online services versus conventional taxi companies who aggressively protect their turf!!

Bali’s Governor Wants to Divide Bali into Taxi Zones to Separate Online Operators From Conventional Community-Based Taxi Drivers.

The Provincial Government of Bali has indicated it is preparing a Gubernatorial Decree that will declare separate operational zones for conventional taxis and online taxis.

The proposed regulation is intended to curtail the intense rivalry between traditional taxi operators and online operators who are accused of “stealing” clients by offering lower fares to tourists via their IT-driven technology. The popularity of online operators and the impact they are having on conventional taxis is demonstrated by warning signs posted in various areas of the Island and the frequent criminal assaults launched on online taxis operating in areas once thought to be the monopoly of local conventional operators.

The dispute over Bali Transport passengers, including claims of the right of monopoly by a Taxi Cooperative on passengers from Bali’s airport, is taking place against a 1999 Anti-monopoly Law that guarantees free and open access to the public to all services providing competitive pricing.

bali transport

Beritabali.com quoted the general manager of Blue Bird Taxi for Bali and Lombok, dr. I Putu Gede Panca Widnyana, who said on Wednesday, May 29, 2019: “It’s hard to imagine how the implementation (of the governor’s proposed taxi zone program) will actually work. For instance, if a passenger orders an online taxi in an area reserved for a conventional taxi operator and the online operator takes the call, what would be the sanction and how would it be enforced? Who would enforce the rules?”

Voicing the thoughts of many in Bali, Panca does not understand how the proposed zoning of online and conventional taxis and Bali Transport would work.

And in the event that such a system was put in place, what happens when an online operators picks up a passengers from a designated online zone but drops off that passenger in a designated conventional taxi zone? Would the online operator be banned from picking up a new customers in a conventional taxi zone? The online taxi business model is dependent on the ability for operators to pick up their next passenger in close proximity to where the last passenger was dropped off. Because of this, it’s unclear on how any taxi zoning system would impact on online operations.

Also questioned is how the proposed zoning system can operate without denying consumers their right to freely choose in making purchases as guaranteed under Indonesian law.

Bali’s Governor responds to such questions by insisting that despite rules issued by the Minister of Transportation regulating taxi transportation, Bali is a “special case” requiring special handling of online and conventional taxis.  Because of this, Governor Koster has pledged to take steps to protect conventional operators from the onslaught of online operators.

The Governor says his soon to be published Bali Transport regulations will forbid online taxis from entering areas served by conventional operators who have traditionally staked out certain areas of the Island as their exclusive domain of operations. The Governor suggests that online taxi operators who wish to operate in areas claimed by community-based operators should first register with community-based conventional operators in order to be allowed access to those areas. The Governor contends (not without detractors) that conventional community-based operators offer a higher quality service than online operators. Koster is also pledging to arrange low-interest loans for conventional taxi operators in order to ensure a more modern fleet of taxis is available local taxi drivers.