Thu, 13 Apr 2000

City Council fails to set new bus fares

JAKARTA (JP): A city council leadership meeting on Wednesday remained unable to set new fares for buses operating in the city.

Council speaker Edy Waluyo told reporters after the meeting, which was the second of its kind since Monday, that the discussion would be continued at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

"We have to recalculate the bus firms' operational costs to find the ideal bus fare, as the Organization of Land Transportation Owners' (Organda) proposed new fares are too expensive for city residents," he said.

"The city administration wants to halt the operation of limited passenger Patas buses. And this will affect the whole calculation," he added.

Present at the meeting were council leaders Deputy Governor for Development Affairs Budihardjo Sukmadi and Chairman of the Jakarta office of the City Land Transportation Agency (DLLAJ) Buyung Atang.

Earlier in the afternoon, the chairman of Organda's Jakarta chapter, Aip Syarifuddin, said he would obey any fare hikes recommended by the city council.

"It's up to the councillors now to decide on the fare hike. We'll obey any decision they make," he said after the first session of the meeting with city councillors.

"We'll then recalculate our operational costs with the new fares to determine the service we can provide to passengers," he added.

Organda proposed new fares of Rp 1,000 (13 US cents) from Rp 300 for regular buses, Rp 1,200 from Rp 500 for minibuses, Rp 3,250 from Rp 2,300 for Patas AC and Rp 500 from Rp 100 for students. The proposal was submitted to the city council on Friday.

Meanwhile, Governor Sutiyoso had submitted a different proposal to the council on July 20 last year. The governor's proposal was to raise the regular bus fare to Rp 500 from Rp 300, minibuses to Rp 700 from Rp 500, Patas AC to Rp 2,500 from Rp 2300 and the student fare to Rp 200 from Rp 100.

Aip renewed Organda's four options concerning the fare hike.

"First, simply approve our proposal for the fare hike or second, the city administration sets its own fares but subsidizes the difference of the rate to bus owners.

"The third option is to set the fare based on a market mechanism or city administration takes over the entire city bus operation," he said.

Councillor Mulyono of the Golkar Party faction suggested that city council could approve the fare hike proposed by the city administration.

"We'll then evaluate the residents' purchasing power regularly. If it's getting better, we can gradually increase the fares to reach Organda's proposed ones," he said. (nvn)