Tue, 08 Mar 2005

Fare to rise by between 6% and 15%

Damar Harsanto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The City Transportation Council (DTK) recommended on Monday that transportation fares be raised by an average of 10 percent, despite public transportation operators' demand for an increase of up to 90 percent.

"We are sorry that the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) is not satisfied with the decision ... Our aim is to minimize the burden carried by the public while seeing to it that public transportation operators do not suffer losses," transportation council chairman Sutanto Soehodho said at City Hall.

The new tariffs recommended by the council range from 6 percent to 15 percent, far lower than the 90 percent demanded by Organda.

The transportation council's recommendation is likely to be a final decision as the City Council, which has the final say over the issue, said that in principle it could agree with the proposed hike.

"We deem the proposed hike -- thoroughly discussed by experts in the DTK -- as logical and tolerable, although some public transportation operators continue to express their objections," City Council speaker Ade Surapriatna said.

Ade said the recommendation would be further discussed by City Council Commission D, which oversees transportation affairs, and Commission C for city revenue. "But, of course, we will need less time to reach a final decision on such a comprehensive recommendation," he said.

Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso urged the council to make a final decision on Tuesday at the latest so that he could issue a gubernatorial decree to make the fare increase come into effect.

The new hike is expected to end a mass strike carried out by public transportation drivers over several days following the fuel price hike.

Amid uncertainties, some crews of public buses and vans have reportedly raised their fares unilaterally by between 10 percent and 15 percent following the fuel price increase.

Separately, City Economic Agency head Budirama Natakusumah said that the administration was also considering increasing taxi fares.

"Organda proposed the taxi fare hike last year to the City Council, but the proposal was rejected. Following the fuel price hike, we are studying the possibility of raising taxi fares," said Budirama.

Organda proposed in March last year a flagfall of Rp 5,700 or 90 percent of the current rate of Rp 3,000.

It has also proposed an increase in the incremental charge to Rp 1,800 per kilometer from the current Rp 1,200.

In addition, it asked the administration to increase the waiting fee to a minimum Rp 18,000 per hour, from Rp 12,000 per hour.

Data issued in 2002 showed that 40 taxi companies were operating in the capital, with a combined fleet of around 24,000 taxis.

Vehicles Current fares Organda's proposal DTK's proposal

public minivans Rp 1,600 Rp 1,852

economy buses Rp 1,100 Rp 2,092 Rp 1,169

Metromini buses Rp 1,200 Rp 1,876 Rp 1,313

business buses Rp 1,500 Rp 2,859 Rp 1,532

air-conditioned Rp 3,300 Rp 4,850


Sources: Organda and City Transportation Council