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Grab aims for 50% of unregulated motorcycle market

Motorcycle hailing services such as GrabBike has grown in popularity, especially on the heavily congested streets of Jakarta

JAKARTA -- Grab, the Singapore-based online taxi app, is pursuing growth in Indonesia's unregulated two-wheeler taxi market.

     Grab Indonesia's managing director Ridzki Kramadibrata said GrabBike, the company's motorcycle taxi service, is targeting a 50% market share in the cities it operates in by the end of the year. The service was rolled out in 2015, and currently runs in five cities including Jakarta and Bali.

     "In certain indicators and certain times, we have already achieved a 50% market share," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Grab Indonesia’s managing director Ridzki Kramadibrata speaks at a conference in Jakarta on April 5.

     Grab Indonesia recently agreed with the Indonesian government to partner only with licensed transportation businesses for its private car service, GrabCar. The move came after taxi drivers led a massive demonstration against such apps in March, claiming that they were illegal. Kramadibrata said the decision "may not be perfect, but good enough to cater and still exist in Indonesia."

     On the other hand, no regulations have been imposed on motorcycle hailing services because motorcycles are not classified as public transportation vehicles under existing laws. Local motorcycle taxis known as "ojek" have been around long before online services. However, they were mostly run informally by individuals rather than companies.

     "There is no violation of the regulation because the regulation doesn't exist," Kramadibrata said. "We have been given directions from the ministries that at this moment, it is okay to launch and operate [motorcycle hailing] services." He added that "in every country, we always align very closely with the government and work closely on solutions."

     GrabBike and its main competitor Go-Jek have grown in popularity, especially on the heavily congested streets of Jakarta where motorcycles are much more convenient ways of getting around. Kramadibrata said that GrabBike is growing at a much higher rate than GrabCar.

     As competition intensifies, Grab recently partnered with Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group to use GrabBike as a delivery service for products purchased at MatahariMall, Lippo's online shopping platform.

     Kramadibrata said Grab has a total of 250,000 drivers across six countries.

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