Earning a Living as a carpool jockey

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There are young women and men standing by the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia, waiting for drivers to pick them up for $1. Interesting comparison to the casual carpooling systems seen elsewhere. Unfortunately the Jakarta authorities don’t take kindly to this emergent behavior and have started to punish the car jockeys with time in detention centers where they are forced to work for free.

When this city of epic traffic jams started carpooling a while back, it inadvertently gave birth to an entirely new profession: jockey.
For less than a dollar, car owners hire one or two jockeys to gain access to stretches of the city’s “3 in 1,” high-occupancy lanes. The jockey is essentially an extra passenger who helps commuters circumvent carpooling rules, making the ride into central Jakarta slightly less slow.

Norimitsu Onishi’s Finding a Detour to Earn a Living in Indonesian Traffic Jams. (Photo: Ed Wray / New York Times)