Express shares jumped as high as 21 percent to trade at Rp 184 on Monday morning at the Indonesia Stock Exchange. (B1 Photo/Danung Arifin)

Express, Uber Launch Ride Sharing, Car Financing Pilot Program


DECEMBER 19, 2016

[Updated at 13:56 on Monday, Dec 19, 2016 to add Uber comments in 7th and 9th paragraphs]

Jakarta. Car-hailing giant Uber and local taxi operator Express Transindo Utama on Monday (19/12) announced a pilot program integrating Uber technology with Express' taxi operations as well as car financing for drivers in Jakarta.

Express, the country's second largest taxi operator, made the announcement Monday but is yet to confirm when the program will begin.

With the move, Express seeks a turnaround in its business, which has seen both customers and drivers jump ship to ride-sharing services like Uber, Grab and Go-Jek in the past two year. Express shares jumped as high as 21 percent to trade at Rp 185 on Monday morning at the Indonesia Stock Exchange, outperforming the benchmark index which barely changed from its closing position last week.

“As one of the largest taxi companies in Indonesia, we continuously explore new ways to create value for our stakeholders," Benny Setiawan, Express's chief operating officer, said in a statement on Monday.

Under the pilot program, some Express taxi drivers would be receiving orders and making trips through the Uber app, when they are not accepting street hails or taking requests from phone or SMS order.

"Through this collaboration with Uber, we hope to achieve higher utilization of the Express Group fleet and deliver safe, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers, while allowing our drivers to benefit from ride sharing technology that gives flexibility and exposure to more economic opportunities,” Benny said.

Express would provide its existing and future drivers with new car financing to allow them to reach Uber car standards. The cars would bear no taxi emblem or attributes.  "[The] driver-partners can lease vehicles from Express Group ... [and] meet their monthly payments through earnings generated from driving on the Uber platform," Uber said in the statement.

“We are excited that Express Group, a prominent taxi company in Indonesia, is embracing ride sharing and technology to tap into new markets. This collaboration is all about making ridesharing more reliable for riders and unlocking greater economic opportunities for driver-partners. We look forward to collaborating further with Express Group,” said Eric Alexander, head of business Asia Pacific at Uber.

Uber would not say if this pilot program is exclusive to Express. The government has allowed car-sharing service to operate in Indonesia as long as drivers are incorporated under a licensed transport company, as current traffic law does not permit individuals to provide transport services.