Mon, 11 Sep 2000

City needs 'independent transportation board'

JAKARTA (JP): A councillor and an observer on Saturday called for the establishment of an independent transportation board that will evaluate the performance of city land transportations on a daily basis and institute a smooth decision-making mechanism on fare hikes.

Councillor Tjuk Sudono of the National Mandate Party (PAN) faction said proposals concerning all aspects of transportation to the governor and city council should come from this independent board.

"For example, if the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) wants a fare hike, the board could study the proposal by considering the consequences of a fare hike on the companies concerned," Tjuk told The Jakarta Post.

He said the results of the board's findings could then be used by the governor and city council to approve or reject the proposed fare hike.

This procedure can also be used to determine the routes of city buses and other modes of public transportation, he said.

"In this way, we will not have controversial decisions, like what happened last week when Organda unilaterally increased the taxi fare. Organda and the City Land Transportation Agency (DLLAJ) should not dominate city transportation affairs," he said.

Chairperson of the Indonesian Transportation Society's (MTI) Jakarta Chapter Milatia Kusuma separately told the Post that many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been suggesting the establishment of such board to the city administration, but to no avail.

"We really need the board because most of the time, the city administration does not realize that transportation is related to economic, social and environmental issues," she said.

An independent board will have a better perspective in formulating all kinds of transportation regulations and not only with regards to technical issues, she said.

"The city administration only has to consider technical issues of transportation while we have to consider the social and environmental consequences of a fare hike," Milatia added.

The 50 percent increase on taxi fares which came into effect on Sept. 1 surprised the public as they had not been properly informed about the hike. (dja)