Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – Vice President Jusuf Kalla has urged Indonesia's transportation sector to embrace technological development to improve their services and be less resistant to new innovations.
"I remember in the past, [taxi company] Blue Bird protested over the existence of app-based ride-hailing services. However, when the company collaborated with [Gojek], it got positive results. So, don't reject technology. Technology is something that we have to work with," he said during the opening of the Indotrans Expo at the Jakarta Convention Center, Central Jakarta, on Friday.
Although Jakarta has been relatively more open toward ride-hailing apps compared to a few years ago, conventional transportation drivers and companies in many regions are still showing resistance toward the existence of the likes of Gojek and Grab.
Only last week, the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, showed its willingness to embrace more ride-hailing services after years of adopting stringent regulations and restrictions.
Still, many regions in the archipelago, from Batam to Bali, are still seeing resistance from conventional transportation operators, with passengers playing cat-and-mouse in booking orders.
On Transportation Day on Friday, Kalla reminded all stakeholders in the transportation sector that if it wasn't for technology, the sector would not progress. The fact that the transportation landscape is changing also shows the contribution of technology in advancing the sector, he added.
"On land, city buses are replaced by busway buses, there's also the MRT and LRT. From offline taxis, we are moving to [app-based ride-hailing services]; everything is moving forward with technology," he said.
Jusuf Kalla also believes that the adoption of advanced technology in Indonesia's transportation sector could inspire competition, which would lead to better services from transportation providers.
For example, the development of a high-speed railway from Jakarta to other cities like Bandung in West Java and Surabaya in East Java is expected to give the public more choices for long-distance public transportation. In the future, people would not only rely on airplanes as they could travel quickly with high-speed railways to reach far destinations, he said.
"In the future, the competition will be between trains and airplanes. With the presence of high-speed railway services, airlines will improve their services, too."