Mon, 22 Dec 2003

Busway feeder service downgraded

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Jakarta Transportation Agency has failed to fulfill its promise to provide air-conditioned and comfortable buses for the feeder services to support the busway project.

Head of the agency, Rustam Effendi, said that the feeder service buses would be taken from the ones in currently in service on 16 routes.

"The bus operators, which had earlier agreed to provide new air-conditioned, comfortable buses for the feeder services, now say they can't afford to buy new ones, so they will use the existing buses plying the same routes," he said after attending a presentation of the busway project on Friday.

A transportation expert from the University of Indonesia, Bambang Susantono, criticized the agency, saying that the administration's purpose was to encourage working people with cars to use the busway corridor from Blok M in South Jakarta to Kota in West Jakarta instead, or else the busway project would be a failure.

"Learning from other countries that have also implemented the busway, the number of private car owners shifting to the busway is not growing significantly even with the availability of good feeder services," he told The Jakarta Post by phone.

"I believe many Jakartans will still use their cars, particularly if we have poor feeder services to reach the Blok M bus terminal to get into the busway."

The city administration has aimed to reduce the number of private cars by providing busway, in which all the buses have been touted as air-conditioned and clean.

The transportation agency data shows that the number of private cars is 1.5 million, compared to 315,000 public buses.

For the initial phase, there are only 56 buses with a maximum capacity to transport 20,000 of the 60,000 commuters from Blok M to Kota everyday. The city will get 50 more buses by the middle of next year.

A passenger will be charged Rp 2,500 for a trip on the busway and must pay Rp 2,900 for the feeder services for the inner Jakarta zone and Rp 3,800 for the outer Jakarta zone.

The feeder service tickets will be sold at 16 locations in residential areas in the capital and its outskirts. Commuters who purchase a busway feeder service ticket will not be charged twice as there will be free transfers to the busway.

From one feeder service bus ticket, the busway operator will recieve Rp 1,500.

To support the implementation of the busway, the agency will also implement the new three-in-one traffic policy, in which a car must have at least three passengers while driving on that corridor, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The policy has been opposed by motorists. But the agency argued that it has prepared four alternative roads parallel to the busway corridor.

I-box Routes to be served by busway feeder services

1. Tangerang-Tomang-Blok M 2. Bekasi-Blok M 3. Bintaro-Blok M 4. Cibinong-Blok M 5. Warung Buncit-Blok M 6. Rawamangun-Tanah Abang 7. Grogol-Pasar Rebo 8. Pasar Minggu-Antarasari-Blok M 9. Muara Angke-Pluit-Kota 10. Kampung Melayu-Cideng 11. Lebak Bulus-Fatmawati-Blok M 12. Lebak Bulus-Blok M 13. Ciledug-Blok M 14. Tanjung Priok-Ancol-Kota 15. Pulogadung-Harmoni 16. Kali Deres-Daan Mogot-Harmoni

Source: Office of the assistant to the city secretary for development affairs