New Apps to Help Travellers Booking Public Transport in Indonesia

Indonesia, technology, transportation

A new App has been launch by the Ministry of Transportation to help travellers to book easily inter-cities as well as inter-provinces long-distance busses. Two other online applications have also been introduced in parallel to obtain online an operational license and to pay traffic fines.

Last month, Indonesia Ministry of Transportation introduced three online applications to facilitate locals and visitors to use public transport or set up a public transportation business.

Transportation license applications can now be done through an application named Spionam (Online Permission System for Transportation) while traffic fines can now be paid through another application called E-Tilang.

Most important for travellers however is the launch of the E-Ticketing app which will help travellers to book easily bus services. “With Spionam, E-Tilang and E-Ticketing, Indonesia is trying to improve its competitive positioning internationally [in the transportation sector]. It starts by developing those online apps,” explained Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi in a recent statement.

“We believe these apps will support the economy, as it would improve the investment climate,” the minister said.

The E-Ticketing app is intended to boost the land transportation sector, which is currently lagging behind air transportation or rail services when providing means to pay tickets and services online. This explains why many foreign travellers are reluctant to use bus services as offer is not clearly indicated and available in advance on the web.

Booking services such as Traveloka, Agoda and currently provide platforms for the reservation and purchase of airline tickets, but have not been able to integrate inter-provincial and inter-city buses.

“I want to see the road transportation sector implement a similarly effective system as is used for air transportation, where people can easily book tickets in a more integrated way, on one platform,” the Minister of Transport stated.

Meanwhile, the government is also acting to regulate ride-hailing service companies which will from now be considered as public transportation services. It will be mandatory  for Go-Jek and Grab to register as transportation companies within two months to ensure they meet safety requirements as public transportation providers.

Both ride-hailing companies refuse such a regulation, explaining that they cannot be considered as public transportation providers as they do not own cars or employ drivers.

The new regulation will however clearly require Indonesian government has fin ride-hailing companies to obtain licenses from the Ministry of Transportation and then oblige to the rules of all public transport companies registered in Indonesia, including for safety ruling.