Uber kicks off motorbike service in Jakarta

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Uber has launched a motorbike taxi service in Jakarta, to offer commuters an alternative for getting around the usually congested Indonesian capital.

The app-based car-hire service joins rivals Grab and GoJek, who already have established similar services.

Thousands of taxi drivers protested recently in the Indonesian capital against transport apps.

The drivers said ride-hailing apps such as Uber have made it impossible for them to earn a living in the city.

Uber started operating in Jakarta in the later part of 2014. The car-hire service also operates in other Indonesian cities – Bandung, Surabaya and the popular tourist destination Bali.

It is calling its latest offering “uberMOTOR”, which it claims will allow anyone in Jakarta to “push a button and get a motorbike ride in minutes”.

The company says its pricing is the “most affordable” in town, with a base fare starting at 1,000 Indonesian rupiah ($0.08; £0.06).

Taxis blocked roads in Jakarta in March in a protest against transport apps
Taxis blocked roads in Jakarta in March in a protest against transport apps

Earlier this year, thousands of cab drivers in Paris also staged a protest, against competition from app-based taxi services including Uber.

The Uber service is available in 380 cities around the world. The company has said it is profitable in the US. But in China, Uber is losing $1bn a year. And that is partly due to fierce competition.

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