Informalisation Of the Online-Based Motorbike Taxi Drivers In Indonesia

Victoria Fanggidae

University of Melbourne and Perkumpulan Prakarsa

The advent of digital ride-hailing apps in Indonesia in 2015 raised tensions between the existing ‘conventional’ motorbike taxi drivers and the app-based drivers. This study aims to capture the profile and perceptions of both. It builds upon a base study that began with a survey of 213 motorbike taxi drivers in Jakarta and Surabaya in mid-2017 by the Jakarta-based think tank, Prakarsa. The survey revealed that traditional drivers lacked the capital to compete, while app-based drivers struggled to procure the capital and legal collateral to stay viable in the industry now saturated with drivers. Driver incomes have decline as bonuses are reduced are and incomes are reduced by costs such as fuel, vehicle maintenance and phone credits. Drivers must also work longer hours, with some of them working over 80 hours per week and becoming more prone to traffic accidents. Without concrete improvement in public transport sector including safety regulation, our research finds that this transitional phase in the provision of transport infrastructure in Indonesia brings only minimial benefits to transport workers and commuters.


Victoria Fanggidae is currently pursuing her PhD at the School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS), the University of Melbourne, researching Indonesian workers’ perception of risk and social insurance. She works in Perkumpulan Prakarsa, a Jakarta-based think tank that focuses on social policy, fiscal policy and sustainable development issues.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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