Wed, 10 Aug 1994

Councilors oppose proposed hike in transportation fares

JAKARTA (JP): City councilors oppose the proposal by the Jakarta Chapter of Land Transportation Owners' Organization (Organda) to increase public transportation fares in the city.

"I do not see any reasonable grounds for increasing public transportation fares," Aliwongso, a member of Commission D, a city council commission in charge of development affairs said yesterday.

Aliwongso said that Organda's request is groundless since prices of gasoline and spare parts as well as vehicle maintenance costs have not yet increased.

He also rejected the notion that the increase is caused by illegal levies at some bus terminals.

"We will not accept that reason," he said, adding that the city council believes that fighting against the illegal levies makes more sense than increasing fares.

He said that Organda should consider the people's ability to pay the fares and not think only in terms of profits.

Meanwhile, Councilor Hasan Dasy called Organda's request inconsiderate.

"I will urge that the city administration supervise Jakarta's public transportation if Organda keeps pushing for the increase," he told Antara news agency on Monday.

Hasan warned that the city council will ask the government to ban Organda's members if they go on strike or increase fares without the city's approval.

Last month the Chief of the Jakarta Chapter of Organda Aip Sjarifuddin, proposed increases of 23 to 120 percent in public transit fares, including taxis.

Aip called the increases unavoidable because prices of vehicles, spare parts, lubricants, and other elements have increased substantially.

Aip said the organization had proposed increases of Rp 300 (14 U.S. cents) to the current Rp 250 per passenger for regular buses, of Rp 350 from the existing Rp 550 for express buses, of Rp 300 from the present Rp 1,300 for air-conditioned buses and of Rp 250 from the current Rp 300 for middle-sized buses or minibuses.

As for taxis, Organda proposed that the flagfall should be increased from the current Rp 900 to Rp 1500, and a rise in the per kilometer charge from Rp 450 to Rp 550. Organda also proposed that fees for taxi waiting time be increased from the present Rp 4,500 to Rp 7,500 per hour.

Public comment

Meanwhile, Lucky Winarta, an employee of the city statistics office who lives in Pejompongan, Central Jakarta, told The Jakarta Post that she felt burdened by Organda's proposal.

"I must spend Rp 1,200 for daily transportation from my home to my office on Jl. Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta, and I do not think that my transportation allowance will cover Organda's proposed new fare," she said.

Lucky said the two buses she takes to reach her office cost Rp 300 a trip.

Wirna Hasan Basri, a high school student, said that she disagreed with the plan because she will now have to pay a regular fare.

"With such a plan the special fare for students will be completely eliminated," she moaned.

Previously, students wearing uniforms paid only Rp 100 per trip for public transportation in Jakarta.

Minister of Transportation Haryanto Dhanutirto said last month the government will not endorse any fare hikes this year because public transport operators can still make profits with the current fares.

The last increase in the fares for public transport took effect in January last year while for taxis it was in August, 1991. (03)