I suppose Go-jek and Grab has succeeded in changing the way we move in a city. At first they gave customers massive discounts and freebies, then gradually impose normal prices. Some people were skeptical that customers would stay if given normal prices. They were wrong. This strategy proves that money in one of the most powerful tools for changing human behavior.
They also used the same tool, money, to hook drivers. As a platform, they don’t own a fleet, therefore they have to lure people to join the platform as drivers. I believe most drivers today come from different occupational backgrounds, so they have to provide an attractive bait.
I often talk with online transportation drivers. The incentives were remarkable. One driver told me his income allowed him to buy his second car. Gojek and Grab didn’t take any cut, they even gave daily bonuses when the driver reached a certain target. Many drivers were wondering how Gojek and Grab made money, some assuming that Gojek and Grab were selling quota and got their money from the providers.
Today, the party is starting to end. Customers are charged the normal prices. Drivers gets a cut and there is no bonus. Gojek and Grab started monetizing their businesses.
Some of the drivers I spoke to complained, but they stayed. I assume many do. Some drivers tried to trick the system by asking me to pay outside the application with the same rate. I find this case more often in suburban cities. If possible, I prefer to use the app because I feel safer, someone will be held responsible should anything bad happens.