Image: Taxi drivers to wear traditional dress while on the job. Credit: seminyaktour.com

Bali Governor, Wayan Koster, finally published the Governor Regulation No. 2 of 2020 for Transportation Services in Specific Regional Bases, as a solution to conflicts between conventional and application-based (online) drivers. With this new regulation, all online transport drivers must wear traditional Balinese dress while working.

The regulation was launched by the governor at a ceremony at the Bali governor’s Office, Niti Mandala Denpasar, on Friday afternoon, which was attended by approximately 500 Bali conventional taxi drivers. The governor was accompanied by the Secretary of Bali Province, Dewa Made Indra and the Head of Bali Province Transportation Board, I Wayan Gede Samsi Gunartha.

Koster explained that the process to complete the regulation was not easy, because he must ensure the central government, who had strong misgivings about the new regulation which contained 9 chapters and 14 articles, and contradicted other regulations. Koster even said that he had to discuss it with the Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian, to get the new regulation approved.

“So, it was not easy. The new regulation was not just simply approved. The process was long. I needed to lobby relevant ministers every night. I talked about it directly to the ministers,” said the governor. He added that he issued the new regulation because the Ministry of Transportation Regulation No. 118 of 2019 had triggered conflicts between the two groups. The regulation about specific transportation had permitted application-based taxis to be able to pick up passengers from conventional transportation area.

“I am sad because this conflict has not only impacted the economy, but also Bali tourism. The passengers, especially tourists, have also become victims of this conflict,” he added. Koster asked the drivers to obey the new regulation, especially the technical matters related to online based drivers. They must be registered to business entities such as a cooperative. Then, they must also get relevant permits. “I have heard all of you have joined cooperatives. It’s good,” he said to the attending conventional drivers.

Besides that, Koster advised all drivers to behave politely, not recklessly and drunk. The drivers must be able to speak Balinese, Indonesian and English, too. Moreover, the drivers must know and understand the destinations in Bali. And, last, the drivers must use traditional Balinese costume when they are working. The governor asked the drivers to design traditional Balinese uniforms that will be used. “Create bright colored traditional uniforms. I will help you,” he concluded.

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