COVID-19, Online Taxis’ Income Drastically Decreases

Since the limitation of public activities and gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many online taxis have not been able to get any passenger. This leads to the decrease of their income.

Daroji receiving a box of Waqf Drinking Water. (ACTNews/Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, DEPOK – It is unusual for Daroji to have been at home in Kampung Lio, Depok, at 3 p.m. That day (3/19), he was resting after working as an online motorcycle taxi driver. From early in the morning until that afternoon, Daroji did not earn much. He only got two passengers that Thursday.

Daroji’s daily income has been significantly decreasing in the past month. Before this, he was able to earn up to IDR 100,000 per day. These days, it is not easy even just to earn IDR 30,000. "From early February, the number of passengers has decreased. The peak was in early March," he admitted, Thursday (3/19).

Since a few days ago, activities in Jakarta and its satellite cities, including Depok, have been limited. Schools have been closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Offices and companies have implemented the work-at-home policy for some employees. This, according to Daroji, had an impact on his income.

Before the discovery of the COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, Daroji said, his income was enough to meet his daily needs. He can serve up to 10 passengers per day. However, now it is rather difficult to get even two passengers due to reduced community activities.

The same thing also felt Rully Hasanudin, an online taxi driver. When interviewed by ACTNews on his way from Depok to the Humanity Distribution Center on Thursday (3/19), he said that he was only able to get at most two passengers per day. He often has to wait all day just to get two passengers. "In the past two months, I often spend a day without any customer," he said.

The Mass Rapid Transport from Fatmawati Station to Lebak Bulus Grab, Monday (3/23) at 4:45 p.m. On normal days, the MRT is often jam-packed. (ACTNews / Gina Mardani)

Rully and Daroji are some of the informal workers that are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Their daily income is reduced drastically because they rely on people who use their transportation services.

Responding to this, the Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) has initiated several programs since the beginning of the outbreak. These programs include not only medical assistance but also the provision of food for those affected by this epidemic. Sri Edy Kuncoro, ACT Program Director said that ACT is currently mobilizing its entire humanitarian fleet to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak. "For the provision of meal packages, the Humanity Food Trucks are ready to take action. We will also distribute rice using the Humanity Rice Truck. These programs are part of the Free Food Operations," he explained during the launching of ACT's humanitarian fleet in Gunung Sindur, Bogor Regency, Thursday (3/19).

In addition to mobilizing the humanitarian fleet, ACT also partners with restaurants (warteg) to provide free meals for the poor and day laborers. In several locations, such as West Jakarta, East Jakarta, and South Tangerang, several wartegs have begun to give free food. []