Lenny Tristia Tambun
After causing a buzz in Jakarta by offering a free ride to passengers, a Ferrari taxi operator has admitted that the taxi was intended solely for the purpose of shooting a movie.
MM Cab announced through its web site last week that its bright yellow Ferrari 360 taxi and a Porsche Boxster S taxi were going to be shuttling passengers for free on Saturday and Monday in several malls in the capital.
However, a production house which was producing a movie quickly denied the luxurious cars were operating commercially on the streets of Jakarta after the Jakarta Transportation Agency issued a warning about illegal operations.
The production house claimed that it was shooting a movie.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono said the agency issued a warning to the taxi operator for using an illegal logo and yellow car plate which could only be used by licensed public transportation.
“Although they said that it was only for shooting purposes, the operation of the Ferrari taxi violated regulations because it used an illegal logo and yellow car plate as the Transportation Agency never issued the permits,” Udar said on Monday. “They also operated it. That’s why I gave the production house a warning on Saturday.”
To prevent the incident from happening again, the production house has signed an agreement with the Transportation Agency in which the movie maker promised not to operate or show off the taxi in public areas again.
The company has pulled the taxis from the streets since Saturday night.
“Despite the agreement, it does not mean that we are not going to make any supervision. We are still going to keep an eye on them, and if the Ferrari taxis return to the streets then we will issue them a tougher sanction,” Udar said.
He also said that the sanction the agency would impose was to seize the taxis to stop them from operating and using the illegal logo and yellow car plate.
The agency chief added that public transportation companies had to undergo a series of procedures according to local law to obtain the plate and logo permits.
“So, it’s not easy to obtain a permit to operate in public transportation. We don’t issue them easily. Public transportation or taxi owners must pass a series of tests,” Udar said.
Previously, MM Cab said it was going to operate the Ferrari and Porsche taxis throughout the day at various points across the city, including several popular malls in both South and Central Jakarta.
The free trial was expected to last two more days, including Saturday and again on Monday.
There were also rumors that the taxi would charge a low far, but MM Cab countered the rumors through its Twitter account (@mm_cab) that the flag-down fare was going to be Rp 100,000 ($11).
“Wait [until] July 18 for complete information,” MM Cab tweeted about its official launch date.