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Taxi gangs in Batam become violent when they know you’re taking a Grab or an Uber

Taxi gangs in Batam become violent when they know you’re taking a Grab or an Uber

Going to Batam soon? Better beware of booking and Uber or a Grab driver, as regular taxi drivers may have formed gangs to keep out and even bully ride sharing vehicle drivers from getting their bookings. A taxi gang could be forming to box out the competition.

In several posts on online forums and news sites, reports of incidents that involve Grab and Uber riders being lead away from their booked vehicles and escorted to taxis have cropped up. Not only that, the ride sharing vehicles are also being cornered physically, with the taxi drivers threatening and even causing harm allegedly.

Take a look at the account on the forum:

In the post above, you can read that the user saw that a lot of taxi drivers had ganged up on a Grab driver. The user was lead away while the other taxi motorists surrounded the Grab driver, who shouted for help.

The user said he wrote to Batam authorities to look into the matter but was not able to check on what happened anymore.

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Singaporeans attacked

photo source

In an online forum Singapore Uncensored, some netizens from Singapore said that they were even attacked by Batam drivers who thought that they were riding on an Uber. In the post, Jason Wee, said that:

Nightmare in Batam. Six of us had enjoyed a day and night at Batam and made a final stop at Nagoya Hills Shopping mall before coming home. As we were pulling out of our parking lot, a group of men dressed in Nagoya Hill uniforms (mostly cab drivers we have been since told) and a security guard stopped us.

A heated argument ensued and they even hit my friends when we insisted we were not using Uber.

They refused to let us leave. They scratched our car. Thugs. Yes, the cab drivers r angry that Uber has killed their livelihood, but we were driving our rental car. Everyone going to Batam better think twice. I’m never going Batam again. Nothing worth going for. #BatamNoMore

In another travel guide,  the writer said that Singaporeans who want to use Grab and Uber must do so at a location that doesn’t have taxi lines. This means walking a little ways away from the establishments and waiting for the ride sharing drivers there.

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What do Singaporeans have to say?

Here are some comments from Singaporeans on the matter:

Some commenters corroborated the stories and added details

Others said that the poor Grab driver asking for help would get beaten up.

Some suggested that Singaporeans learn a little Bahasa and say that the driver is their friend so they can get off easily.

While others said that Singaporean tourists shouldn’t let anyone check their phones.

The rest of the comments also mentioned that Singaporeans shouldn’t go to Batam anyway.

What do you think of this? Would you go to Batam and use a Grab or Uber there? Let us know in the comments!

Read our 24-hour insider guide to Batam

Header image from Shutterstock.


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  1. Anonymous

    most shopping centres will not allow Uber or Grab to pick you…notorious Mafia group bashing the private cars

  2. Anonymous

    The taxi drivers are the worst part of Batam and the main reason i avoid the airport and large malls. I’m thinking about leaving a d never coming back If the govt doesnt fix this.

    They need to let in Grab and Gojek. Hire security to get rid of taxi drivers who act unruly. They are very rude and very expensive

  3. Anonymous

    Just came back from Batam. Indeed to avoid taking grab from Malls. They seem to outsource to thugs who followed us and threatened us when they found out we were taking Grab. Taking Grab from hotels and other areas is fine.

  4. Anonymous

    Taxi drivers in Ferry Terminals and shopping Malls are the worst people in Batam.

    Try this, inside Harbour Bay Ferry terminal Bayfront mall advertise 30k taxi fare within Nagoya and Baloi area, when reach the taxi stand, they will tell you it cost 50k rupiah and 60k rupiah.These are the very people who spoil the image of Batam.

    Always ask the price before getting up the cab and always get off the cab before making payment.


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