Commuters and riders in Jakarta now has a new getaround option: Uber, the Google-backed private chauffeur app has just launched its service in the city yesterday, aiming for a slice of the growing middle class population.
Unfamiliar with Uber?
Before Uber launched its service, the only way for people to get around is through the public transport (cab) or by driving. If you do not own a car and want to travel by cab, you have to either flag down a cab or call the taxi booking number up.
Uber changed that: You can now travel in style.
Founded in 2009 in the United States, Uber provides on-demand private driver to anyone. Need a private driver now? Simply launch the Uber app, select your pick up location, and a classy luxurious car will be on its way to pick you up. You can also track where the driver is so that you are kept in the loop on his location. Its service is currently available in 43 countries worldwide, including Singapore.
Uber Launches In Jakarta
Uber soft launched its service in Jakarta back in June, and according to Chan Park, Uber’s head of expansion for the Asia-Pacific region, there are currently “tens of thousands people” who have signed up for Uber.
“That’s what’s exciting about Jakarta — things go viral very easily,” Chan told Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.
Uber is currently working with local limo and car rentals, offering premium rides for a fee. Its base fare is at Rp 7,000 (60 cents), with each additional minute costing Rp 500 and each kilometer Rp 2,850, placing Uber’s service at par with local taxi services in the city. To ensure the safety of its customers, Uber claims to have made a rigorous background check on all its partners.
While there is no lack of taxi operators in the country, getting a cab to get around is still a pretty big problem in Indonesia. Finding a taxi can be pretty difficult, especially when it’s raining, or when it’s late at night. Your best bet will be to hail a taxi outside, right beside the road. However, security becomes an issue. Calling a taxi can be problematic, especially when you stay along small streets.
Uber seems to be able to provide a solution to that. However, it is currently facing competition with popular taxi booking app GrabTaxi. Officially launched in Indonesia earlier in June, users can download the app and book a taxi through the app, offering a similar solution to Uber.