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Self-Serving or Serving the Public?

Indonesia National Competitive Commission (KPPU) Question the Quality and Legality of Baliís Airport Taxis.

(9/24/2011) The National Commission for the Supervision of Competitiveness (KPPU) sees the taxi operation at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport as a monopoly, a form of business not permitted under Indonesia’s anti-monopoly law.

As reported by the Bali Post, the KPPU sees the monopolistic pitfalls of the monopolistic taxi system operating at Bali’s airport evidenced in the zone-based tariff system instead of charges based on metered time and distance.

The vice-chairman of the KPPU, Sukarmi, said on Monday, September 12,2011,  the monopoly at the airport has many forms under the management of a cooperative controlled by the airport.

Sukarmi told the press that the job of the KPPU is to battle for the rights of the consumers.

The KPPU supports an open market system that ensures competitivenes and consumer choices, both in price and quality of service, beneficial to the public. This, in the view of the KPPU, also applies to Bali’s airport. “Since the establishment of the KPPU, we first intervened at Cengkareng (Jakarta’s airport). Using the authority invested in the KPPU, we used a persuasive approach,” explained Sukarmi, who said Jakarta’s airport now offers a wide range of consumer choices when it comes to land transportation.

She continued, saying that as a world tourism gateway, Bali needs a taxi service which is safe, comfortable and with as many choices as possible for the public. “If there’s only one (choice), that’s not a problem. But is there’s only one service that’s a shamble with high tariffs and catch-as-catch-can facilities, this will be disadvantage to the consumer,” said Sukarmi.

According to the vice-chairman of KPPU, Ngurah Rai Cooperative Taxi Service is unique with an armada of 1,200 vehicles operating from the airport and various hotels with some vehicle capable of handling 9 passengers. The tariff offered from the Bali airport is a “specialized tariff” using flat rates instead of meters.

The “flat fees” charged are higher than the fares that would be charged if metered taxis were allowed to operate from the airport. The higher fee is justified by the cooperative because of a “waiting surcharge.”

The zone system used by the cooperative also appear on some levels to be arbitrary with, for instance, the charge for traveling from the airport to the popular domestic destination of the Ubung Bus Station lower than to Sanur, despite the fact that Ubung is much further removed physically from the airport than Sanur.

The 1999 Anti-Monopoly Law specifically outlaws the operation of monopolies that inhibit competition as unbeneficial to the general public.

Related Article

[Is Bali's Airport Taxi Operation Illegal?]