AS the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them – which is why Blue Bird Group, Indonesia’s largest taxi company, has announced that it is teaming up with Gojek, a popular motorcycle taxi startup.
In a joint statement released on Monday, the companies said they were forming a partnership involving technology, payment, and promotion to help accelerate the digital revolution in Indonesia and empower passengers.
Blue Bird Group’s head of public relations, Teguh Wijayanto, said that as part of the agreement, the option to order Blue Bird taxis would be added to Gojek’s existing app, hopefully before the end of May.
“We intend to provide ease of service through the use of the Gojek app, in addition to our own application, My Blue Bird. For people who already use these applications, there will be new booking features,” he told Kompas.
Though further details have yet to be released, once the the agreement is inked over the next week or so, another announcement will be made.
In the past, the companies appeared to be on opposing sides, as Blue Bird’s taxi drivers protested against the increasing popularity of ride-hailing apps such as Gojek, Uber and Grab, claiming that they were threatening the drivers’ livelihoods.
Gojek follows the same model as Uber and Grab, as passengers can call for a rider through an app, but rather than cars, they use motorbikes.
Rising tensions came to a breaking point in March, when what was meant to be a peaceful demonstration in Jakarta turned into street brawls.
Experts are lauding this latest development, saying that the partnership would allow the companies to bring in their strengths for the benefit of passengers – Gojek’s popular app and Blue Bird’s fleet of taxis.
Speaking to the Jakarta Post, Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) chairman Danang Parikesit said that the public could expect to see more of such partnerships between conventional and application-based transportation services.
“The synergy is good as customers can choose between competitive services from providers,” he added.
Danang also urged the government, in creating regulations, to keep up with the rapid technological and business developments happening in transportation, as seen with the rising popularity of ride-hailing apps.