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New Plan To Improve Public Bus Services
Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/06/04/new-plan-improve-public-bus-services.html
Source Date: Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Country: Indonesia
Created: Jun 04, 2014

Waiting inside a hot, smelly, stationary bus as the clock ticks by is one of the despairs commonly experienced by users of public transportation in the city. For motorists, these waiting buses are often traffic nightmares as they stop anywhere they like.

The city administration plans to end this misery by taking over the management of public transportation in the capital through the newly created PT Transjakarta in 2016. 

Acting governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama reiterated the plan on Tuesday, saying that the administration wanted to apply kilometer-based fares to remunerate the drivers. 

“According to our plan, the entire public transportation in the capital will no longer use a deposit-based system. We will pay the drivers based on the distance they drive, so they no longer have to stop for a long time to pick up as many passengers as possible,” he said. 

Ahok said it was understandable that currently the drivers often stopped in certain places for a long time because they would lose money if they ran the vehicle without passengers. 

“The most important thing for us is to achieve a minimum standard of service. For example, a bus arriving every seven minutes,” he said. 

Director of PT Transjakarta Steve Kosasih said he was still studying the plan because he had not personally heard about it from the acting governor. 

“I am currently coordinating with the head of the Transportation Agency. We will be discussing the plan tonight,” he told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, head of the Jakarta chapter of the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) Sudirman applauded the plan, saying that it would be a dream come true for passengers. 

“This is a very good goal. Operators will benefit because they will receive consistent business, while drivers will get a reliable income. Moreover, passengers will get a better service,” he said. 

The plan, he said, would face a great challenge in terms of coordination because the managements of many public bus companies and cooperatives were currently in a mess. Most of the buses, he said, were owned by individuals who had joined a company or a cooperative. 

“PT Metromini, for example, has been in an internal dispute for decades now. They cannot even resolve the legal status of their own company,” he said, adding that there were around 8,000 public minivans, mid-size buses, large buses and tourist buses in the city.

Metromini is one of the largest mid-size bus operators in Jakarta along with Kopaja and the smaller Koantas Bima. These buses have become notorious due to the behavior of their drivers and the thick smoke emitted by their exhausts. 

Sudirman said PT Transjakarta would need to have “big muscle” and courage to bring together all the individuals behind the companies because most of them would fight for their own interests. 

“Unlike professional companies, these cooperatives and bus owners have street-style managements [...] and do not have any standards,” he said.
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