The Cut: The Circulation of Money and Taxis in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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This paper discusses how an ‘eco-system’ of taxi apps has taken part in changing what it means to be a taxi-driver in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. The relation between drivers and the companies behind the apps is described as a form of mutually ‘symbiotic’ interdependence. However, it is hardly a symmetrical relationship, nor one that is easily captured with the idealist notion of ‘peer-to-peer’ often used in IT-parlance. Among the concerns to the drivers is how they have begun to think differently about the way they are handling not only money but also mobility across the city-scape, when almost all interaction with passengers is facilitated digitally, and when their earnings are controlled and ‘cut’ by company-bank partnerships. The apps present various affordances from gamification to vouchers that incentivize both passengers and drivers, but some drivers try to operate in the gaps left open by the technology in order to access cash. The case demonstrates not only how the appropriation of such apps is understood within a context of multiple existing infrastructures, but also how value circulates in new forms and through new channels when mobility is reconfigured in the connection of the transport sector with app-based micro-finance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date24 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2018

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