Thousands of cabbies have shut down a major road in Indonesia’s capital and launched attacks on other drivers as part of a protest against ride-hailing apps like Uber and Grab.
Traffic jams sprouted up in parts of Jakarta on Tuesday as taxi drivers took to the streets to protest against Uber, Grab and the motorbike service Go-Jek.
The busy arterial road Jalan Sudirman was closed down for a time, as taxi drivers blocked the bus lane.
A stone-throwing fight then broke out between cabbies and motorbike taxi drivers, known locally as “ojek” riders.
This was in retaliation for a reported attack on an ojek rider by a taxi driver, a witness told AAP.
Even the brightly coloured blue, three-wheeled vehicles known as a “bajaj” were not safe with taxi drivers believed to have overturned one and smashed its front mirror.
Another Indonesia wtf moment: Jakarta taxi drivers protesting against Uber, Grab target non-striking colleagues. pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/RHZffipDkE
— Bryce Green (@brycewg) March 22, 2016
Taxi driver Aris told AAP he wanted online taxi services to be banned as they had cut his income dramatically.
“I used to get 200,000 to 300,000 rupiah ($A30) a day but now 50,000 is like a blessing,” the 30-year-old said.
Aris, who has been working for Express Taxi for almost 10 years, said the protest was an “act of solidarity” among taxi drivers.
Taxi drivers have complained of the increasing competition from the likes of ride-hailing giant Uber whose drivers, they say, do not face the same costs and rules.
Australians warned over protests
Australia has issued a travel warning for Indonesia following the protests.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised travellers to exercise a “high degree of caution” across Indonesia, including Bali, as a protest in Jakarta shut down a major arterial road on Tuesday.
“There are reports that some passengers have been forced to disembark from passing taxis and other forms of public transport,” DFAT warned on Tuesday.
“Travellers are reminded that demonstrations and rallies can turn violent with little notice.”
Taxi drivers have amassed outside Parliament House in the capital as they took to the streets in protest of the popular apps Uber and the motorbike service Gojek.
RelatedTaxi drivers turn against each other in strange twist to Jakarta’s transportation drama 长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/DaONyZu4Zp pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/Fx8wpJeyJE
— Tech in Asia (@techinasia) March 22, 2016
Jakarta police Chief Detective Krishna Murti said he was supervising the protest and warned those involved not to let it get out of hand.
“Protest, go ahead. But don’t cause traffic jam! And then don’t do anarchy. If you’re bad, I’ll arrest you,” he told local website Detik.