, BATAM – The fate of online taxi drivers in Batam City, Riau Islands Province is never certain.

A biggest shopping center in Batam Center has canceled its decision to allow online taxis to operate in their area, last Thursday (01/02/2020).

The policy change was caused by the pressure from conventional taxis to management to keep in mind the long-standing local wisdom regarding the rules of passenger pick-up points.

Responding to this, representatives of the Special Rent Transport Business Entity (ASK) in Batam did not want to be confused.

To the, the ASK representative mentioned that it would not make his side budge.

“Whether it’s delayed or canceled, it doesn’t matter. Our operational permit should be their consideration. It is clearly stated in the permit that our operational area in Batam, and also the mall manager, cannot limit the customer’s wishes,” said a representative of the ASK Business Entity, Sawir in Batam, Sunday (01/05/2020) afternoon.

He said, this polemic would not be widespread and cause a conflict if the Riau Islands Provincial Government in this case the Department of Transportation had a firmness.

Sawir did not want the commotion between online taxis and conventional taxis in Batam to continue to occur and make ‘third parties’ take advantage of this situation.

“Do not politicize local wisdom. Regional regulations do not yet exist,
Mayor Regulations don’t yet exist, how come there is local wisdom. If indeed some people ask for local wisdom, I am the manager of the ASK online taxi shelter also wants to ask for it. Indeed, if we use technology we cannot talk about local wisdom, “he regretted.

Supposedly, continued Sawir, the Riau Islands Transportation Agency could provide information regarding online taxi operating licenses in Batam to all area managers.

According to him, this task is again the duty of the Riau Islands Transportation Agency as the licensor.

“The permit issued has received a recommendation from the Batam Transportation Agency. It has been tested by KIR, and a Vehicle Type Determination Letter (SPJK) has been issued. Why is it still questioned about its existence? This online taxi is the same as public transportation, “he said.

He also asked the applicator to intervene to address this issue.

Sawir did not want the applicator to remain silent and let this ‘hot ball’ get bigger.

Hundreds of conventional taxi drivers held a solidarity action around the mall area in Batam Center, last Thursday (02/01/2020).

This action is a form of their disappointment over the decision of the mall manager located near the port and the government office to allow online taxis to pick up passengers inside the mall area.

Effective as of January 2, 2020

The management of the shopping center located in Batam Center, Batam City previously provided online taxi access in Batam to enter the mall area and pick up passengers.

This policy was decided by the management and will be implemented starting Thursday (02/01/2020).

Shopping Center Operations Manager, Hendra Tirtayasa said, the permit was given considering that now it has entered the digital era.

The community has also begun to utilize technological sophistication to facilitate their mobility. Includes ordering taxis online.

“Indeed, we must make these innovations so that tenants at Mega Mall can benefit from the existence of online taxis,” he said, Monday (12/30/2019).

Aside from the fact that currently the community is in industry 4.0, the existence of Batam city which is a tourism city is considered by Hendra to be the right step if utilizing the existing technological advancements.

Basically, Hendra said the mall never had an exclusive contract with any taxis.

Hendra added, the step was taken as the best form of service for visitors.

“We never had an exclusive contract with any taxis. But we are acceptable for public services, “he continued.

Hendra also gave a response when alluded to about the online taxi pick-up point can pick up passengers while still in the mall area. Including the location of the mall next to the Batam Center Ferry Port.

“As far as they (prospective passengers) are in the mall area, yes they can enjoy all the facilities that we provide,” he said.