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Indonesia's ojek drivers see profits in safety

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Courtesy of Go-Jek

(Read caption) Go-Jek drivers pause before cruising Jakarta streets.

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

The ubiquitous motorcycle taxi, or ojek, is a necessity in this city of 9 million, where traffic crawls during rush hours. A new transport company called Go-Jek is taking things one step further with the stated mission of bettering the lives of its 230 drivers. “It’s about helping them earn more and creating a good, solid, reliable transportation system in Jakarta,” says Michaelangelo Moran, a Go-Jek cofounder.

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In addition to transport, Go-Jek offers a courier service and shopping delivery. It trains its drivers in maintenance and safety and reduces its overhead costs by requiring them to have a cellphone, a motorbike, and a license before starting.

Go-Jek driver Kojun Tiknoto says the number of customers varies from day to day, but his overall income has improved. Users hail Go-Jek for providing helmets and insurance coverage to customers.