Ride-share app a hoot
I AM a supporter of Cairns Taxis and have yet to book an Uber but often I did use an Asian equivalent called GoJek’s Go-Car app in Indonesia earlier this month and was impressed.
Quite frankly, unless you get the Bluebird meter taxi in Bali, which can be hit and miss, the other taxi drivers are rip-off merchants.
Generally a fare from the airport to Kuta is about $10 but the greedy taxi drivers demand $20 and after bartering about $17.
By contrast Go-Car charges just $2.40. I don’t know how they make money and I usually gave the driver $5.
After ordering the car you are sent a photo and name of the driver, a description and registration of the vehicle.
They mainly use late model Toyota Avanzas, a small minivan with three tiers of seats (pictured above).
The cars are usually immaculate, the drivers are well dressed and speak reasonable English.
The app shows the location of the vehicle and its progress to your pick-up point.
They text or phone you if there is a problem.
For example, I ordered a car and it broke down. The driver texted me to say he had broken down but in the confusion I ordered another Go-Car as I had to catch a plane.
The first driver then arrived in another vehicle and came to the hotel lobby looking for me.
Unfortunately, at the same time, the second car arrived and I ended up giving the other driver the fare of $2.40 (actually $5) to keep the peace. All in all, a good experience. They are not allowed to pick up from within the airport property so you have to order and go outside the airport perimeter to get collected.
It’s a bit difficult if you rely on Wi-Fi though.
Driving in Indonesia is risky. Overtaking on the inside as well into oncoming traffic is normal.
I saw police with several vehicles and motorbikes, sirens wailing and lights blazing, escort a Harley Owners Group and they took the convoy on the opposite side of the road, forcing other users to yield.
The latest Mazda6 sedan is their highway patrol car.