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Indonesia’s Gojek teams up with commuter railway to battle Grab

Written by Nikkei Asia Published on   3 mins read

New service offers combination of ride-hailing, train trips in superapp.

Indonesian ride-hailing and delivery giant Gojek is teaming up with one of the nation’s main commuter railway operators to offer users of its superapp a one-stop shop for local journeys, a senior Gojek executive told Nikkei Asia.

The move to work with Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) on GoRide Transit comes as Gojek, a marquee Indonesian brand, is facing fierce competition from Singaporean rival Grab and when the Indonesian government is promoting public transport to tackle air pollution in Jakarta, which has ranked as one of the world’s most polluted cities in recent months.

Gojek rolled out GO Transit on the company app in Jakarta last year before expanding it outside the city in March. But it only allowed consumers to buy a commuter train ticket using the Gojek app. Starting from Friday, however, users can pay for multimodal trips via GoRide Transit in one app connecting Gojek’s ride-hailing to trains run by KCI, a unit of state-owned Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI).

In Indonesian cities such as Jakarta, people living in suburbs often hail rides and then use trains to get to their workplace.

Shobhit Singhal, Gojek’s chief transport officer, speaks during an interview on Sept. 26. (Photo by Nana Shibata)

“One of the key strategies of Gojek is to offer more affordable products for consumers in order to expand our total addressable market,” Shobhit Singhal, Gojek’s chief transport officer said in an interview on Tuesday, explaining the plan.

“Based on analysis we have done, we can actually double our consumer base by launching and expanding these affordable products,” Singhal added, without giving a specific timeline for when it might achieve the customer expansion.

In a news release on Friday, Gojek cited a study by the Research by Center for Transportation and Logistics Studies at Gadjah Mada University showing that consumers using the new integrated service can cut travel time by 15% compared with other modes of transport.

Gojek in 2021 merged with local e-commerce major Tokopedia to form GoTo. They were part of a wave of local technology unicorns — startups valued at USD 1 billion or more — that has emerged in Southeast Asia in recent years.

The merged GoTo Group listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in April last year, though has struggled to turn a profit. Now it faces intensifying competition from Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing service Grab, which is also available in Indonesia.

“GoRide Transit is a key part of our strategy to grow our total addressable market by expanding our reach to a wider segment of consumers, particularly those who prioritize value,” GoTo CEO Patrick Walujo said in the release. “It also supports the government’s ongoing efforts to increase public transport ridership in Indonesia, which will in turn reduce the country’s carbon emissions,” a goal, he added, is shared by GoTo.

As of January, this year, Gojek controlled 50% of Indonesia’s ride-hailing transportation market by order volume, with the rest taken by Grab, according to research company Statista.

Singhal sees the launch of the new service as a tool to capture more demand, saying it not only “helps us gain competition and [market] share, but also to expand the user base.”

Singhal stressed that Gojek’s focus remains its home market, but did not rule out reaching across borders. “We are also very open to expanding it to other public transportation providers in other countries,” he said.

This article first appeared on Nikkei Asia. It has been republished here as part of 36Kr’s ongoing partnership with Nikkei.


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