Ride-hailing firm Uber partners Indonesian taxi operator Express

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, addresses a gathering at an event in New Delhi, India, December 16, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] and Indonesia’s second-biggest taxi operator PT Express Transindo Utama Tbk announced on Monday a partnership on ride-sharing and vehicle financing.

The deal will give Uber, which currently operates in five Indonesian cities, some access to Express’s fleet of more than 11,000 taxis and 17,000 drivers. It will also help the U.S. firm meet regulations on getting a local partner.

Express drivers who participate in the new program can take orders on the uberX service to “supplement their existing business”, the joint statement said. UberX is typically a low-cost option that allows up to four riders.

Uber drivers, referred to as “driver-partners”, can lease vehicles with no taxi attributes or branding from Express by making monthly payments, partly through the income generated from using the Uber app.

Uber’s move follows partnerships of its rivals with local firms. Earlier this year, homegrown ride-hailing app Go-Jek teamed up with Indonesia’s biggest taxi operator PT Blue Bird Tbk on technology, payment and promotions, while Southeast Asian firm Grab has a mobile payment partnership with the Lippo Group.

Ride-hailing services have met with regulatory obstacles in the country of 250 million people. The government has ordered them to pass vehicle safety tests and ensure that their drivers are licensed, among other conditions.

Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Himani Sarkar