Fri, 17 Nov 2000

Small bus operators protest fee hike

JAKARTA (JP): A group of 12 small bus operators in the capital protested on Thursday the sharp increase in vehicle inspection and terminal access fees.

Speaking at the meeting with the City Council Commission C for financial affairs, the operators demanded a review of the newly enforced City Bylaw No.3/1999 on traffic and public transportation that had stipulated the hike.

Under the new bylaw, which replaced City Bylaw No. 9/1992, each bus should pay Rp 40,000 for vehicle inspection fee, a sharp Rp 32,250 raise from the previous fee and Rp 79,200 for terminal access fee, a big difference from the previous Rp 19,800.

The increase, which took effect on Wednesday, had caused at least 20 small buses to cancel their inspection and as a result were banned from operating, a representative from Koperasi Wahana Kalpika (KWK), B. Manurung said.

"It doesn't make any sense. Our operating costs are already high due to expensive vehicle spare parts and the fuel price hike," said Manurung.

He said each bus is subject to a biannual check at three appointed locations in Ujung Menteng in East Jakarta, Jagakarsa in South Jakarta and Kedaung in West Jakarta.

He added that the terminal access fee, collected every six months, was paid along with the vehicle inspection fee.

Manurung said there were at least 5,164 small buses under the management of KWK owned by 3,311 individuals across the capital. Some 20 small buses are checked everyday.

"We are proposing that the previous fees based on City Bylaw No.9/1992 be applied for us, or at least we should be given a discount as enjoyed by the big and medium-sized buses," said Manurung.

According to the City Bylaw No. 3/1999, big and medium-sized buses receive 25 percent discount for vehicle inspection fee, which then requires them to pay a mere Rp 10,000.

Operators of big and medium-sized buses also receive another 25 percent discount for terminal access fee. A big bus is charged Rp 49,500, while a medium-sized bus is charged Rp 24,750 after the discount.

Under the old City Bylaw No. 9/1992, all buses received a 50 percent discount for vehicle inspection fee and terminal access fee.

"Although big and medium-sized buses occupy more space at the terminal, small buses are paying a higher fees," said Manurung.

Another representative, Asdi Wardi of Purimas Jaya, said the regulation was discriminative.

"It's not fair. And the fines for delays in inspection is killing us," said Asdi Wardi

Based on the City Bylaw No.3/1999, the fines vary between Rp 20,000 and Rp 80,000, whereas the City Bylaw No.9/1992 had set the fines at between Rp 4,850 and Rp 19,500.

"We also have to pay a 'friendship' fee to the bus terminal officials, which could be as high as Rp 175,000 for each bus," said Asdi.

Both Asdi and Manurung claimed that this problem had been ignored by the Jakarta Chapter of the Association of Land Transportation Owners (Organda), the umbrella organization of the operators.

"Organda has not assisted us on this matter. We have quit the association last June," said Asdi.

Separately, chairman of Organda Aip Sjarifuddin, told reporters that the association had proposed in September that the city administration apply the vehicle inspection fee discount on all public buses, including small buses.

"We also proposed higher discounts of up to 75 percent for public buses," said Aip, adding that the governor had yet to respond to the request.(07)