Taxis are lined up during a protest against competition from ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Grab. Photo / AP

Thousands of taxi drivers yesterday caused traffic chaos in the Indonesian capital in a rowdy protest against competition from ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Grab.
TV footage showed long lines of taxis blocking a central expressway, men setting tyres on fire and jumping on vehicles that refused to join in the protest. AnAssociated Press reporter witnessed drivers surrounding one taxi and forcing its female passenger out on to the road with her luggage.

Taxi drivers park their cars on the road during a protest against competition from ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Grab in Jakarta. Photo / APTaxi drivers park their cars on the road during a protest against competition from ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Grab in Jakarta. Photo / AP

It is the second major protest by taxi drivers in Jakarta this month. They say competition from ride-hailing apps, which don’t face the same costs and rules as regular taxis, has severely reduced their income. Many of the drivers come to Jakarta from other parts of Indonesia and support their families as taxi drivers.
Uber has been making a big push into Asia, intensifying competition in a region where there already was a slew of ride-hailing apps.
The protest yesterday elicited little if any sympathy from commuters in a city that already struggles daily with massive congestion.