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bunyip

New Member
Nov 2, 2016
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Hi people! Do you think it is possible to rent a Suzuki or whatever Bemo and go for a tour in that? Going back to Flores in February on a Mission and Treasure Hunt!! My Lady has an injured Shoulder and Carpel Tunnel of right hand so doing lots of riding is not going to be possible for her. Potentially will be raining and I would not like to double anyone in those conditions with gear as well. No probs on individual bikes. Don't want a flash car or driver. I like the idea of a vehicle where you can meet locals and maybe even help out during the journey.
 

Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
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Karangasem, Bali
I'm sure a Bemo is rentable but doubt that a good one (trustworthy) can be found - most, if not all, of those I see are really just 4 wheeled junk kept going by string and prayers.

Probably only a matter of price...?
 

modelt1826

Member
Apr 25, 2010
128
3
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Wilverhampton UK
Years back some of the bars inBandung would rent bemo to take the staff home. i would guess some of the bemos are rented from the owners the individual would rent the bemo for the day.
 

JohnnyCool

Well-Known Member
Jan 10, 2009
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Sanur
1. Why would anybody in their right mind want to rent a drive-it-yourself bemo for a week?
2. What's wrong with renting a car? (Possibly cheaper/safer and more comfortable.)
3. If you find a bemo for rent, what about "insurance"?
4. Tell me you're not thinking of taking it to Flores (impossible).
I like the idea of a vehicle where you can meet locals and maybe even help out during the journey.
Huh? Do you think you'll be able to pick up locals? If real (local) bemo drivers see you encroaching on their turf, you might get beaten up. Do you have a work permit?

My conclusion: a silly idea in the first place (but OK to ask about it). Just rent a normal car for a week.
Good luck on your treasure hunt...
 
I don't know much about bemos in Bali but own a few of them in my city in North Sulawesi. I doubt that it would be much different in Bali anyway.

First of all, and sorry to disappoint you, you must forget about it. They are public transport vehicle and are recognized as such by their yellow license plates. This is the first problem for you, and a major one. Being yellow plate it requires for the driver to have a SIM A "umum", a driver license which is out of reach for a WNA (foreigner). Only Indonesian can have a SIM A "umum". Any cop is aware of it and they will undoubtedly let you know it.

The second problem is that these vehicles have an izin trayek (a license) which is valid for the transportation of passengers only within a delimited route or area. Anytime they go out of this route or area the driver or owner have to apply for an izin insidentil or, most often, deal on the road with the LLAJ officer by giving them a bit of cash at each of their pos (generally at the limit of a kota (usually the Terminal) or kabupaten. That would be a LOT of paperwork for you, or, most probably, a lot of cash to distribute.

The third problem is more directly economical. The example I am going to give you is specific to my region and may be not applicable to Bali. Even though this vehicle are often "just 4 wheeled junk kept going by string and prayers", they are cash machine especially for their owner. I said earlier that I own a few of these bemo/mikrolet in my city. We rent them 7 days a week, 365 days a year and each of them brings in a minimum of Rp 150.000 net (meaning that all cost are already paid by the driver) per day and an additional Rp 25.000 per day if the driver who rent them from us wants to bring it home (meaning a 24 hr rental rather than a 12 hr rental). Now, if anyone coming from the blue would be asking me to rent one of our mikrolet I would not only charge him/her the above rental fees that we get everyday from our regular drivers... but I would add the daily salary expected by these drivers (Rp 100.000 per day) who work with us on a yearly basis, some for more than ten years and who are left without vehicle to win their bread for a week or so. I think it wouldn't be hard to find a better deal renting a normal car.
Again, the situation in Bali may be different (the cost of living in my province is higher than in Bali and therefore all prices and salary are higher) but I doubt that it would be very different.

Therefore, considering all the above, I think that renting a normal car would be a much smarter solution.
 
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Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
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Karangasem, Bali
What a great post!

Who would have known about the economics of bemos? For sure not me, but I do now.

A few questions?

How much does a new bemo cost please?

Why would you Atlantis be asking not only for the rental fee for the bemo but also for the earnings of the driver? I mean he rents the bemo from you and as a free agent goes out and either makes money or hangs around at the local coffee shop chatting with the friends. If you were to rent "his" bemo to someone else would you then pay his expected earnings to him? Can I come work for you?

Interesting post, thanks.
 

sherm

Member
Nov 17, 2011
312
2
18
Mebbe this would work for the op, certainly no conflict with any locals.

[video=youtube;yzwInjc6Rhc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzwInjc6Rhc[/video]
 
Who would have known about the economics of bemos? For sure not me, but I do now.
A few questions?
How much does a new bemo cost please?
Please, remember that I do not live in Bali and that the economics may be (slightly) different in Bali.

In my region there are NO new bemo/mikrolet since NO new license are issued by the government, which explain that these vehicles became priceless for their owner and the source of a very fair ROI. License which were granted to old vehicles, prior to September 2001, are extended yearly at a minimal cost. No new licenses being issued implies that your old vehicles does NOT loose in value but in fact increase in value because anyone know the kind of money they bring in.

However, if you asked the question about the price of said vehicles I guess you are interested by the full details of the economics of mikrolets in my city.

To give you an idea, the "youngest" one of our "fleet" is from August 2001, a month before that the local government decided to stop the issuance of new licenses. We bought each of the 2001 vintages for Rp 50.000.000 to Rp 52.500.000 at the time while the patriarch of the "gang" was from 1992. This old junk has been acquired for just Rp 17.000.000, with quite a few others in between this age gap of 1992 to 2001.

Each of them have brought us a rental income everyday since then starting at Rp 120.000 per day for the old beast at the time to Rp130.000 for the youngest cars. Since then the rental (called setoran) has slightly increased to reach Rp 150.000 per day (+ extra for 24 hr rental, which is the case for most vehicles) now. The competition with other emerging type of transportation in my city, both private and public, is what explain the slow increase. Yet, mikrolets remain strong for a simple reason: they are the cheapest mean of transportation and for many, it is the only type of transportation they can regularly afford.

Yearly maintenance fee and licensing extension have amounted to an average of 7% to 15% of the annual income, depending on the vehicle. This include the heavy maintenance such as complete overhaul of machine (these vehicles do about 70.000 km / year and requires an overhaul every 3 years on average). We have operated them starting since 2000 and, save for Christmas, Easter and perhaps three of four other odd days in the year, they have bring in their setoran (rent).

I have to add that, unlike perhaps other owners, we have maintained ours the best we could, with original spare parts (bought in bulks directly from PT Krama Yudha Tiga Berlian since they are all Mitsubishi vehicles) and the constant attention of our in house mechanic who was taking care of all our mikrolets, trucks, pick ups, rental cars and private cars. Needless to say that the guy was pretty busy.

Today, I receive regularly offers from potential buyers offering in between... Rp 120.000.000 to Rp 140.000.000 per mikrolet for the 1997 to 2001 vintages we still operate. There are no typos, Markit. This is more than two and up to three time what we paid them 15 years ago. Even at Rp 150.000.000, even at Rp 200.000.000 I would not sell any of the remaining one (we kept only 4 of them), especially since I have good connection in the Dinas Perhubungan and know that there are NO plans to issue new licenses and I know enough of mechanics to predict that the economics of operating these remaining vehicles for at least 5 years or more are good.

Now you can do the maths. :smile:
Why would you Atlantis be asking not only for the rental fee for the bemo but also for the earnings of the driver? I mean he rents the bemo from you and as a free agent goes out and either makes money or hangs around at the local coffee shop chatting with the friends. If you were to rent "his" bemo to someone else would you then pay his expected earnings to him?
In my extended 'hood Markit, 99% of the male (and even some of the female) population are drivers. If you would be starting in this "business" you would perhaps say "cool, human resources are no going to be a problem". You would be terribly wrong. Human Resources is THE problem, especially in my region.

Out of this 99% of the local population, 99% of them are the drivers who would ruin all the economics highlighted previously. To operate our vehicles we have tried hundreds (yes, hundreds) of drivers with many not finishing the week, some even not finishing the day. For each vehicles we have ended with only 1 driver, responsible for the car and the setoran and we have kept them for as long as we could, some of them being with us since the very beginning (16 years) and being responsible to operate themselves (or sublet and still being responsible) our vehicles 7 days a week and almost 365 days a year. When and if we have sold "their" mikrolet we have made sure to employ them as driver of trucks or pickups in other business fields we deal with. In fact, if I consider all of our drivers for all vehicles, public or merchandise transportation vehicles, only 1 has been with us for less than a year. After him, the "less senior" has 5 years of seniority.

When you have find this breed of reliable people you don't tell them "Pak, this week you look for someone else to give you a tool to feed your family". He would undoubtedly find a way to feed his family... but he won't be back when the car will be back and it will take me more than the 7 days you would have paid his salary to find the same breed of guy. That's why I would ask you to pay his salary for the time you want to rent my mikrolet.

Can I come work for you?
Well, if we ignore the fact that you can't get a SIM A "umum", if you are willing to accept Rp 100.000 a day and work 7 days a week, if you can drive defensively without me raising once an eyebrow on a 10 km stretch of road, know how to change oil and do a bit of basic mechanic (I can teach you that on your free time at no charge), if you can quickly learn how to swear in Manadonese while strictly avoiding to do it in front of my kids and wife (only me has this privilege and, shame on me, I abuse of it), if you can say "no" whenever I politely propose you to share a bintang or a rum (remember, you have to drive), if you can use the trash bin when you clean your car instead of littering the parking lot with the sampah and puntung rokok the passenger have left, if you can call me "bos" or "pak" rather than "bule" or even "mister", if you can be responsible for both the car and the payment of the full setoran every day, I can consider a trial. Do you want to try?
 

Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
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Karangasem, Bali
How interesting Atlantis! Thanks again. After weighing my options I have to disappoint you and turn down your very kind job offer as I doubt I could live on 700k a day let alone a week and it would be bad for business to have a starving (but sober!) bule as driver methinks.

I wonder if the demand on Bali is anything like that in Manado? I was in Manado a year ago for a week and found it to be comparatively much poorer than Bali although you say the standard of living is higher, I didn't find that. Here on Bali it seems that the bemos are only busy for the daily school runs but for everything and everyone else they all have motorbikes now. Often they bemos are busy transporting to market and back but the rest of the time the drivers seem to be sitting around a the local warung looking at girls (hmmm, might reconsider my job app?)
 
I was in Manado a year ago for a week and found it to be comparatively much poorer than Bali although you say the standard of living is higher, I didn't find that.
It is because you consider it through the lens of YOUR needs, not through the lens of the local people's needs. Any average Indonesian reading that you can not leave on Rp 700.000 a day, let alone a week would have a WTF moment and wonder what you are talking about (no offense intended).

Sulawesi Utara has the third highest UMP (monthly minimum salary) after DKI Jakarta and Papua. For your information it will be as follow for 2017:

DKI Jakarta, Rp 3.355.750 (was‎ Rp 3.100.000 in 2016)
Papua, Rp 2.663.646 (was Rp 2.435.000 in 2016)
Sulawesi Utara, Rp 2.598.000 (was Rp 2.400.000 in 2016)

Propinsi Bangka Belitung (Rp 2.534.673), Propinsi Aceh dan Propinsi Sulawesi Selatan (both Rp 2.500.000) come respectively 4th, 5th ex-aequo. Bali comes far behind with an UMP 2017 of only Rp 1.956.727 for 2017, which should rank the Propinsi at roughly the 20th rank out of the 34 provinces. .

If you take as an indicator the KHL (Kebutuhan Hidup Layak), the amount considered by BPS as being the amount of money required to afford the decent living needs of a person, which is one of the main indicator local governments consider to set the level of the UMP you have pretty much the same ranking.

I know you came to Manado some time ago, but I am afraid that you didn't stay long enough to understand the city as one should. Or perhaps no-one introduced you to the city and its inhabitants. You wrote in another forum:
My impressions were of a city in the process of big changes both economy and religions as there are 3 to 4 main religions all in contention for believers along with major building on the port and city infrastructure.
It was in fact an interesting comment and I can understand that an outsider got it wrongly. Nothing to do with contentions but more to do with the tolerance which is important for most Manadonese people. In fact, the local government has given public land close by the port and Marina, by the newly inaugurated Soekarno bridge, to the organization representing the 6 major religions recognized by the Indonesian Constitution to build, side by side religious buildings to welcome believers of their respective faith and showing that religion live in harmony in Manado, side by side, without contention. Perhaps it is amusingly this, the project of having the presence of churches next to masjid and temples, that you have considered as a form of contention, as there should have a form of segregation of the communities, each living away from the other?

Did you know that we also have both the only remaining synagogue of Indonesia and the tallest Menorah in the world, and that the current rabbi invited the leaders of the Umat Islam (who accepted the invitation) to break the fast inside the premises of the synagogue during the last Ramadhan?

Next time you are around, give me a shout if you don't mind. I'll be happy to have your vision of my city modified in order for it to reflect its reality. And who knows, you may discover, buried deep inside you, the unsuspected soul of a mikrolet driver. If so, just remember that I can help and give you the stir of a near immaculate bemo.

Apologies to the board for the off topic.
Salam,
 
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bunyip

New Member
Nov 2, 2016
10
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1
Wow!! What a great forum this is. I asked a stupid question and now have a much deeper understanding of Indo transportation culture. The reason I asked is because I 1. like Suzuki Carries. 2. Dislike the typical air con cars for rent. 3. My girlfriends shoulder is stuffed and I do not double people anywhere (unless for very short distances) including Australia on my BMW 1150. So the use of the word Bemo was probably put into the wrong context. Now I found a sit that does hire Suzuki Super Carry and the Mitsubishi equivalent for between 50000-100000 rup a day. I also contacted a Bule I met on my last trip to Flores. He is looking at purchasing one as a back up vehicle for motor cycle tours. Another reason for a tray back Suzuki is if I meet Markit on the road I can roll his Bike and body into the back where the esky will be kept. Potentially I could even pay him (yes a job) per Bintang opened and passed to Designated driver ;)
 

Markit

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2007
8,997
825
113
Karangasem, Bali
I'm your man/woman/boy/girl/dog/" other LGBT title here" I can pass beer all day.

Tell me when you're off. Not sure why girlfriend's stuffed shoulder necessitates a large car? Does she have to lie down a lot?