Chasing the dream of seamless public-private transportation, Grab launches ‘trip planner’ in Jakarta

Rival Go-Jek pioneered a link up with Jakarta’s public bus network in 2015 but dropped the feature again

Jakarta just inaugurated its firt-ever Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line, and in conjunction with this ride-hailing app Grab introduced its new “Trip Planner” feature that integrates public transportation information into the Grab app.  The feature is rolling out in the Greater Jakarta Area first and will later arrive in other cities in Southeast Asia, says Grab.

Commuters in the Greater Jakarta Area can use the feature to plan their journey with accurate public transportation information and end-to-end directions within the Grab app.

Grab’s other collaborations with the Indonesian MRT include providing Grab shelters for pick-up and drop-off near MRT stations. Grab’s mobile payment partner in Indonesia, Ovo, signed an MoU with MRT last year. Eventually, passengers will be able to use Ovo to pay for the MRT tickets, but that’s not available yet.

To use Trip Planner, you only need to enter your destination and you’ll be able to view all public transit routes, including the MRT, Airport Rail Link, and public bus services nearby along with real-time departure times. The feature lets you book transportation options such as GrabBike or GrabCar for the last mile right away.

Grab is chasing the dream of offering users a seamless transportation experience that switches between public and private transportation options.

Main rival Go-Jek actually already pioneered this in 2015, when it offered integration with Jakarta’s public bus network, long before the launch of the MRT. However, this feature later disappeared from the app again without an explanation from Go-Jek.

Maybe the time for such a feature is better now that Jakarta is inching closer towards a more reliable public transportation offering. Grab seems determined to make interoperability with other modes of transportation its thing. The firm said it will also soon pilot a marketplace for bus travel in several Southeast Asian cities.

According to Ngiam Xinwei, Grab’s head of marketplace and shared mobility, over 70% of daily trips are taken on motorcycles and private cars rather than public transportation when commuting in Jakarta, which does not help to ease traffic congestion.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad