Wed, 24 Aug 1994

City mulls over ban on 12-seat night minivans

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration is considering banning the operation of the unauthorized 12-seat minivans at night and calling for the compliance of big public transport companies to fully utilize the 24-hour permits.

"This was the result of our meeting with the owners of public transport companies in regard to the increasing need of night public transport services," said Abdul Karim Tjokroprawiro, the head of the Jakarta Office of the Transportation Ministry yesterday.

For years Jakartans and people living in suburban areas have relied on the services of the minivans which operate at around 10 p.m. after regular buses end their operation.

"Big companies have stopped night transport because they claim it is not profitable for them to operate at night," said Karim after a coordination meeting on night transport at the city's Land Transportation and Traffic Control Agency (DLLAJ).

Given the "reluctance" of big companies, Karim said owners of privately-owned small public transportation grouped in Wahana Kalpika Cooperative (KWK) has offered to operate their fleet at night while promising to return to their original, designated routes in the morning.

"The meeting rejected the offer and instead directed big companies to operate some of their fleet at night because the operation permits for public transportation applies 24 hours a day," Karim said.

Karim said that big transportation companies had the choice either to comply with their 24 hour permits or have their permits withdrawn.


In order to prevent bus crews driving recklessly and buses carrying passengers exceeding the seat capacity in order to gain extra income or to meet the target of a daily deposit set by the owners, Karim said the meeting had laid specific arrangements. These included the signing of special working contracts between the crew of night transport and their companies.

"The contracts will ensure a minimum regular income for drivers," Karim said.

"Basically the Governor (Surjadi Soedirdja) has agreed to the proposal on the operation of night transport," he added.

The meeting also endorsed a plan aimed at minimizing losses on the part of business owners but Karim would not reveal details of the plan.

Karim also revealed a bold plan, which will involve related agencies under the city administration, the police and military to crackdown on illegal night transportation which is reportedly operated by servicemen.

"I'm also from the army, and I know that ABRI does not give formal permission for its members to operate this illegal transportation," he said.

However JP Sepang, the head of DLLAJ, mentioned that the crackdown on illegal transport would not be successful if passengers do not have alternative transportation.

The meeting urged that the state-owned PPD bus company set an example for other big companies to operate the night transport.

Karim and Sepang would not mention the number of wide-bodied buses and minibuses needed to operate at night in order to meet the demand of the public on the transport service. (anr)