Sat, 29 Mar 2003

Military, police to anticipate bus strike

JAKARTA: Governor Sutiyoso has asked the military and the police to ready their buses for transporting passengers, in case bus operators act on their threat to go on strike next week.

Organda, the Organization of Land Transportation Owners, has threatened to stop their public bus services early next week if its proposal to increase bus fares is not approved by the city administration.

Previously, Organda had proposed a fare hike of 50 percent, then revised it to 35 percent. However, the administration would only approve a hike of 27 percent.

"I hope the City Council can act as a mediator to settle our differences regarding the fare hike," Sutiyoso told reporters after a meeting with city officials and Organda on Friday.

According to the governor, the city's 27 percent fare hike plan could be revised upward, but he did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, city police chief Ins. Gen. Makbul Padmanegara confirmed that the governor had asked the military and the police to provide their own buses for commuters, in case Organda went on strike.

"But I think they should resolve their differences without harming public interests," he told the press after the meeting. -- JP