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Image: Koster speaks to conventional taxi drivers. Credit: Youtube.

Dozens of driver from the local taxi organization, United Bali Transportation (BTB) visited the Bali governor’s office on Monday. They wanted Governor Wayan Koster to fulfill his promise related to the ongoing online and conventional taxi dispute where Koster has said previously that he is committed to support the conventional taxis, as he feels those taxis have supported the tourism development and image of Bali for a very long time.

“We should not forget their contribution even though we could enjoy a more modern taxi service now. They have been here for a long time and they were recruited based on several qualifications,” said the Governor at the press conference after he had met with the BTB members.

Koster added that tourism is the main income for the Bali economy and the conventional drivers have contributed in building it, because they could explain Bali and its tourism to their guests. That’s why they should be supported and their abilities should be increased. “Please don’t doubt my commitment, I will keep supporting conventional taxis,” he added.

Koster explained that there is a Ministerial Regulation that regulates conventional and online taxis in Indonesia, but he insisted that Bali could not be generalized as other regions, because Bali has to be supported by transportation that prioritize service. To accommodate there needs, Koster promised conventional drivers that he will issue a Governor Regulation that will set the parameters of conventional and online taxis.

Moreover, Koster also promised that he will help the drivers with low interest loans to buy new cars. “The Governor Regulation will prohibit online taxis to enter conventional taxi areas. If they want to serve the customers there, they should be registered as the member of driver community in that area. We will also facilitate the conventional taxi drivers with low interest loans from BPD to buy a new car,” he said.

Meanwhile, BTB spokesperson, Ketut Suriadi, hoped that the government could mediate between conventional and online taxi drivers to solve the issues between them. He explained that conventional taxi drivers only get customers from their community areas. “We could not get customers outside our community areas, because we respect the driver community there. If a driver wants to be a part of our community, he should be tested and he would have to pay to get a contract. So, we should respect each other,” he said.

BTB coordinator, Nyoman Suwendra, said that he appreciated Koster’s commitment and his side will monitor the content of the Governor Regulation. “We are satisfied with the commitment, but we are sad too because we could not close online taxi business. We will wait for the regulation,” he concluded.

Showing 12 comments
  • Wigmore

    This is now a new millenium with new ideas that the new generations want…please get used to the idea of online taxi service as it will not be going away….it is what the people want today…

  • 8 Degrees of Latitude

    They’re disappointed that their total monopoly won’t be reinstated. They need to enter the 21st century.

  • Adri

    Make taxi parking places on crucial points instead of allday driving around, one of 3 cars on the road is a blue taxicar!!
    Helps the traffic .

    • Archana

      Why can’t local taxi groups get a grant with university to develop their own app and stop living in the past. Not fair to tourists to put them in the middle of all this. Travelers want to use technology to get around. Much easier

  • Arthur

    So inaccurate the government says the traditional driver’s give a better service. Most don’t and can’t use GPS. They never find my place, they take ages to arrive if they even do. Online is the best service and a real price for hard working drivers. Traditional drivers take one fare a day and call it quits. If anywhere needs a good choice of transport services it’s Bali as it doesn’t have any public transport. None

  • Bali View

    Traditional drivers that hound you when you arrive and automaticaly judge and offer fares above normal rates. We already have taxi mafia in places like canggu and uluwatu. Who threaten and have beaten up foreigners wanting book online taxi at a normal rate, rather than a over inflated one. The traditional drivers are the major problem. Who need re-educating into the modern world. Also they do cause trafic by driving slowly around congested areas.
    Should be made to park in designated areas like in developed countries and be fined for ripping people off, like in Malaysia or Singapoore. I never take traditional taxi’s any more. If they cant give me a fair price then they should loose out. Just like in other practices here in Indonesia where they try over charge us westerners because of our skin color.

  • Dave

    Yes a Bule is fair game for all the Scammers ..i find i dont really relax in Bali anymore…as i jabe become so Defensive because of Scammers..been to Bali 14 x times and still got ripped off by a Money changer…felt like an idiot snd spoilt my day…last 3 x times some sort of Scam has been tried or perpetrated on me…thats had it ..
    Plenty of warm tropical destinations to go to..port vila is extroardinary ..2 weeks there clean streeys .happy friendly scammers!! Noticed

  • Darren Tolputt

    Tourist don’t want to cheated out of their money by using the so called local taxis drivers .
    Bali doesn’t need them, the poor tourist first experience of Bali is being hassled by these drivers as they try to leave the airport it’s a disgrace, Open the airport up to Blue bird taxi.
    I always use online taxi service or Blue Bird when in Bali not those none metered tipoff taxi drivers.

    If the govenor wants tourist to use these drivers he needs to tell them to pull their heads in and stop over changing tourists problem solved

  • Harvey

    Just another government official that’s been bribed by taxi mafia,
    Out of touch as traditional taxi have damaged bali reputation for tourists to never return, let public use what they want and free up the streets of taxi doing useless laps and stupid honking of horns

  • visitor

    These blue taxis make up half of the car traffic on the roads, which are in constant traffic jam because of them. And all they do is endlessly driving around while being empty. In normal world taxis are parked in their designated spots, not creating unnecessary traffic and extra pollution.
    Thus using a scooter become 4-5 times faster as you can actually move with them, not just sit in one spot in the traffic jam.
    The tourists who visit the island are moving ahead with times by using more and more online services. If you can’t do that then the tourists will go some place that can.
    Conventional taxis and their whining is heard across the world (protests in multiple countries). But time moves on and so will services change. Adapt or find a different job.
    Making a regulation to ban online services over these scam taxis is a colossal step backwards. The effects will ripple through in many ways and in few years you will scratch your head on what went wrong.
    But, can’t fix stupid..

  • Don Havig

    In Singapore you go to a taxi stand, so easy. If you flag down a taxi you pay a higher rate. The airport has taxi stands, first come first served. You would think that after all the growth in Bali the would at least join the free market in a professional way.

  • Ary Menaka

    Online Taxi will have their own Zone outside of tourism area.

    Starting next month Online Taxi will not available in tourism area such as Nusa Dua, Benoa, Jimbaran, Tuban, Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Canggu, Sanur, Ubud, Candidasa, Lovina.

    There’s will be centralized system and management who will watch the service quality of Conventional Drivers, each drivers has their unit number on their stiker, customers will be able to submit a complaint and management will be able to take necessary action towards drivers. And more details will be shared soon after the PERGUB done. They trying to fix the problems regarding price and service quality.

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