Uber Indonesia to ban smelly drivers

If you live in or visit Indonesia’s traffic-clogged capital, you will be familiar with the Motorbike Taxi that weaves its way through t...


If you live in or visit Indonesia’s traffic-clogged capital, you will be familiar with the Motorbike Taxi that weaves its way through the congested streets. It is, in fact, about the only way to get around efficiently there. Known locally as “ojeks”, the Motorbike Taxi is a familiar feature of the overcrowded city of 10 million that is Jakarta.

Unfortunately, these trips could become a little unpleasant, what with the whiff of exhaust fumes mingling with the unpleasant body odour from some of the less than well-washed motorbike drivers. In the tropical heat, it is all too easy for drivers to get sweaty and smelly working long hours. Well, if you are destined to utilise this form of transport, fear not. Your life is about to get a little sweeter for a new ride-hailing app from UberJEK is promising to ban smelly drivers.

UberJEK, the latest in a series of smartphone-based motorbike taxi-booking services in the congested metropolis, has embarked on a recruiting drive before kickstarting operations next year. And to make this pertinent criteria clear, the company’s official website shows a picture of a man sniffing the armpit of another man, with the caption: (translated) "If you have the problem of armpit odour, you cannot be an UberJEK rider".


UberJEK’s founder, Aris Wahyudi, said he decided to include the test in the recruitment process after hearing many feedback from motorbike taxi customers regarding this matter. 

"This test will be conducted for customers' satisfaction as there have been many complaints about drivers' foul-smelling body odour," Wahyudi was reported to have said.

The fledgling company hopes that its promise to hire only non-BO drivers will give it an advantage in a saturated market that, in the past year, has been inundated with ride-sharing apps. Other services have also explored innovative approaches - such as the likes of Ladyjek and Sister Ojek - which offer female drivers for female travellers.

At this point, perhaps we should add that UberJEK is not associated with the popular US-based ride-sharing service Uber. 

top image: billycraig.co.uk

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