Public urged to accept new fares
JAKARTA (JP): Arguing a fare hike was unavoidable, Governor Sutiyoso appealed to residents on Friday to understand the city administration's decision to start implementing new bus fares on Sunday.
"The city administration considered the hike very carefully in order not to overly burden the residents," he said at City Hall.
"We, however, will be ready for any protests."
He said the fare hike would provide benefits to the public in the long term.
"I ask city residents to thoroughly consider greater benefits of the fare hike. If we do not do so, bus operators will have to stop their operation, which will eventually cause greater losses to the residents."
Sutiyoso announced earlier this month that the city administration would hike fares from Rp 300 (4 U.S. cents) to Rp 500 for regular buses, Rp 500 to Rp 700 for minibuses, Rp 2,300 to Rp 2,500 for Patas AC buses, and Rp 100 to Rp 200 for students.
Patas buses will retain the current fare of Rp 700, while being allowed to operate for two more years before they will be converted into either regular buses or Patas AC ones.
Minivans will also retain the fare of Rp 1,200 for a maximum distance journey of 14 kilometers.
Interviewed later on Friday afternoon, head of the City Traffic and Land Transportation Agency Buyung Atang made a special appeal to school and university students to understand the fare hike.
"Students in Yogyakarta have to pay Rp 300 per trip, while students in Jakarta pay less than their friends there," he said.
Buyung and executives of the Jakarta chapter of the Organization of Land Transportation Owners were waiting for students' delegates to discuss the fare hike at City Hall.
The meeting was scheduled for 3 p.m. but when no students appeared by 3:30 p.m., the officials decided to call off the meeting. (nvn)