Migo’s e-bike sharing concept to face fresh regulations in Indonesia

The same polemic has also befallen Grab and Go-Jek when they started operations in Indonesia

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Migo’s e-bike sharing concept to face fresh regulations in Indonesia

The Indonesian government is currently reviewing regulation for Migo, the first e-bike sharing app in Indonesia.

Migo, founded by Chinese entrepreneurs and launched in Jakarta just a few months ago, lets riders rent a motorbike from a station for a small fee and return it when they’re done. It costs IDR 3,000 (US$0.2) per 30-minute slot, with no limit to the travel distance. Migo’s fleet currently has more than 1,100 bikes with 200 pick-up and drop-off points known as Migo Stations, according to the firm.

There were no specific rules for electric bikes in Indonesia’s traffic regulations before, but now, Migo’s e-bike vehicles have caught the attention of Indonesian police because they’re more frequently spotted on highways along with motorised vehicles.

According to Budi Setyadi, Director General of Land Transportation at the Ministry of Transportation, a legal basis for the classification of electric motors is needed, in the “era of electric vehicles”. Without regulation, there is no clear distinction between pure e-bikes (think bycicles with assisted pedaling) and electric motors.

Migo’s e-bikes are somewhat of a hybrid between a pure e-bike and a motorbike with an electric motor. It has two pedals, which classifies this vehicle as a bicycle. Nonetheless, its design resembles a small automatic motorcycle or scooter. It has headlights, taillights, mirrors, turn signal and disc brakes. Migo’s vehicles currently do not have a license plate and vehicle registration number.

Local media reported that Indonesian police have banned Migo vehicles from using the highway. The Ministry of Transportation suggested a temporary freeze of the Migo app until its legality is clarified. Budi Setiyadi also suggested that Migo should not be allowed to expand its business in Indonesia until there is a regulation regarding the classification of electric motors.

If Migo’s vehicles are classified as motorbikes, each bike will have to pass a vehicles test, get a license plate, and renters/drivers must have a driving license.

That regulators are struggling to keep pace with innovation in Indonesia’s transportation sector is hardly news.

The same happened when Gojek and Grab introduced ride-hailing to the country. Both platforms eventually obtained a permit from the transportation ministry, although details of the regulation, such as caps on tariffs and fleet sizes, are still being negotiated.

Migo said that the firm is ready to comply with regulations. According to Migo Jakarta operations manager Sukamdani, Migo is currently taking care of all the administrative steps related to permits and the vehicle classification test. “We are cooperating with all institutions, including the Land Transportation Agency, the Ministry of Transportation, and the Regional Police,” said Sukamdani told  local press.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad