Women-only public transport is proving to be a big hit in Jakarta

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 20 January 2016 13:20

With sexual assaults on public transport hitting an all-time high in the UK last summer, there have been increasing calls for segregated systems.

While Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's suggestion that he was open to discussing women-only carriages on trains was shot down, the success of a similar system in Indonesia's capital Jakarta shows they may actually prove popular. As Reuters' Fransiska Nangoy reports...

Jakarta is seeing a growing number of transportation services that cater exclusively to women, which appear to offer better security and comfort when compared with buses and trains in the Indonesian capital of 10 million people.

Ladyjek and Sister Ojek, the most recent entrants to the female-only taxi services, have seen business take off less than four months after starting operations in the predominantly Muslim nation.

"In other public transportation, such as public minivans, there are too many men in such a tight space, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. However, I feel safe if it's Ladyjek because the bikers are also women," taxi user Uki Pratiwi said before hopping on to a motorcycle driven by a Ladyjek employee.

Since its launch in October, the Ladyjek mobile app has been downloaded about 50,000 times and hundreds use its services each day, claims Ladyjek's founder, Brian Mulyadi. The company employs about 2,400 drivers, and hopes to expand outside the capital.

Dozens of motorcycle-sharing firms have set up in Indonesia in the past year or so, seeking to emulate the success of Go-Jek, the first firm in Jakarta to use smartphones to tap into the country's millions of traditional motorcycle taxis, known as ojeks.

More: Women-only train carriages are not happening in London. Here's why