Council rejects Transjakarta price hike plan
Sunday, December 30, 2007
The Jakarta Post/Jakarta
The newly-elected members of the Jakarta Transportation Council rejected the planned Transjakarta fare increase set for Jan. 1, 2008, a press conference revealed Saturday.
Head of the council Edi Toet Hendratno said before the city administration raised the fare, it should first do an assessment to see whether there was a real need for the increase.
“We would thus know whether or not the bus operators are suffering losses,” said Edi, also rector of Pancasila University in Jakarta.
In early December the city administration drew up a plan to increase busway fares. It cited the expansion of the busway system from 99 to 170 kilometers as the main reason.
Another reason was an anticipated reduction in the city’s subsidy for Transjakarta operations.
Haryasetyaka Dillon of both the Jakarta Transportation Council and the Urban and Regional Development Institute said raising the fare was not a simple matter.
“It is true the addition of kilometers and corridors would increase Transjakarta’s operational cost. On the other hand, the revenue from (increased) ticket sales would also increase,” he said.
The council also criticized Transjakarta’s poor customer service, citing a report by the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) showing most busway users still unsatisfied with the service.
“They should improve services first before asking for a fare raise,” said council member Tubagus Haryo Karbyanto.
The council also suggested an integrated service between trains and buses to overcome the city’s severe traffic congestion.
Bambang Pujantiyo, another council member, said the existing physical infrastructure was an asset to developing integrated transportation between trains operated by state-owned PT. Kereta Api (PT KAI) Indonesia and Transjakarta. Most commuters from Tangerang, Depok, and Bekasi still depend on PT KAI’s lines.
Bambang said Transjakarta should build a special route for train users, making travel from train stations to Transjakarta stations comfortable and efficient.
“For example, make a special route that only serves Blok M-Dukuh Atas shelter, to serve people who use the Ciliwung Blue Line train,” he said.
The Ciliwung Blue Line is a new train service from PT KAI which runs a circular route serving North, South, East and Central Jakarta.
It stops at stations such as Manggarai, Sudirman, Karet, Tanah Abang, Duri, Angke, Kampung Bandan, Kemayoran, Pasar Senen, Kramat Sentiong and Jatinegara.
Besides the Ciliwung line, this year PT KAI has gradually prepared an expansion of its services from the suburbs to the capital.
The air-conditioned, economy train Ciujung, which runs a route between Serpong (Tangerang) and Tanah Abang, was launched in July.
PT KAI is also scheduled to launch another air-conditioned, economy class train traveling between Depok and Manggarai on Jan. 3, next year.
Bambang Pujantiyo said he was hopeful that if trains and Transjakarta services were integrated, people would leave their private cars and use public transportation.
“And when people start using public transportation instead of their own cars, the traffic will no longer be congested,” he said.