Grab and Gojek in Indonesia During COVID-19 Pandemic

Grab and Go-jek as two dominant online transportation applications in Indonesia have been forced to change their operations several times during COVID-19 pandemic. There were times when motorcycle or ‘ojol’ were forbidden and car passengers were limited in cities where PSBB was imposed.

A few days ago I was surprised that Go Ride was shown ‘unavailable’ when I tried to order it from my house. I thought ‘ojol’ was forbidden, until I found out that I could order Grab Bike, even though there was only Grab Bike Protect option available at a slightly higher price. I assume Go Ride was having an error, because Go-jek used to have problems here and there.

After several Grab Bike orders, I tried ordering Go Ride again to go home. I prefer to order from both applications alternately to share revenue. Apparently Go Ride was still ‘unavailable’. I asked my friend in Go-jek about the problem. His suggestion to restart the application did not work. “I will ask the team”, he said. Later on he told me that my house was in the red zone COVID-19, therefore I could not order a Go Ride from or to that area.

Grab outdid Gojek in this regard. First, Go-jek either didn’t inform their customers about the red zone situation or put the information in obscure places. Users would be confused and could order from competitor applications instantly. Second, Grab seems to understand customers better through the Grab Bike Protect program. Providing protective backpack to limit customer and driver interactions, Grab could offer better safety in red zone area while earning extra charges.

Please share which online transportation application you prefer and why in the comment.

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