Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek starts signing on drivers

SINGAPORE - Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek has started signing up drivers en masse, but is still not saying when it will officially start.

The Straits Times understands that the first sizeable rival to Grab is now aiming to start in January - later than its initially planned take-off in the third week of November.

Go-Jek has been signing up drivers through car rental firms since September and set up a Web portal last month to allow interested drivers to pre-register.

On Tuesday (Nov 13), it began signing up drivers who had pre-registered.

"We can confirm that early-stage driver on-boarding has begun as we work towards the launch of our beta app in Singapore within the next few weeks," a Go-Jek spokesman said on Wednesday (Nov 14).

He added: "On-boarding is being carried out in batches, so drivers who are excited about joining us and wondering why they haven't been notified yet should sit tight - we will be in touch with them as soon as possible."

In a recent online poll by Facebook group Singapore Private Hire Car Drivers & Riders Community, 86 per cent of about 1,200 respondents said they would quit Grab and drive for Go-Jek.

 
 
 

In response to that, Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay said that the Singapore-headquartered company was aware of the unhappiness.

In an interview with ST last month, Mr Lim said: "We have been talking to our driver-partners and know that they are unhappy. We also acknowledge that there is a lot more we can do. With their feedback, we have been working hard on a number of new initiatives to address their top concerns."

Observers reckon that drivers will have both apps for a start, but will eventually go with the one that gives the best returns in terms of ride allocation and incentives.