Bandung city to launch its own motorbike taxi app

Service to launch next month, rivalling Indonesian startup Go-Jek.

Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil has announced plans to launch an app to hail motorbike taxis, rivalling startup Go-Jek’s service. The app called Akod will allow people to find nearby motorbike taxis (known as ojeks), and transport couriers, he said. Both services are offered by the Go-Jek app, which has been used in Indonesia’s biggest cities since 2011. There is a difference in how the apps work behind-the-scenes though, the Mayor stressed. While Go-Jek, like Uber, directly connects passengers with a driver that accepts their request, Akod will follow the queue system at ojek taxi stands. Traditionally ojek drivers queue at the stands, waiting for their turn to get a passenger. When a passenger requests for a ride on Akod, the app will notify the coordinator of a nearby ojek stand. The coordinator will then assign the passenger to the driver that is first in the queue. The Mayor, who has banned Uber in Bandung, said that the government’s app will respect the rules set by each ojek stand to match drivers with passengers. The city plans to test the app at four ojek stands, before launching next month at 100 stands. The government is now finalising the rate per kilometre. Ojeks have long been a cheap way to zip through traffic in Indonesian cities. But the sector was largely informal and inefficient, with passengers negotiating fares at the start of each trip. New apps like Go-Jek, the more recently launched GrabBike and now Akod help drivers find rides faster and save passengers the trouble of haggling.