'Busway project to be operational by 2010'

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The city administration revealed on Monday its transportation system concept -- bus rapid transit (BRT) or busway and railway -- and said it expected it to be fully operational by 2010.

The busway project, which so far only has one corridor from Blok M in South Jakarta to Kota in West Central Jakarta, will be expanded to at least 15 corridors by 2010, connecting nearly all major areas in the city. While the addition of railway tracks is expected to be implemented by 2007.

Sutanto Soehodo, a transportation consultant hired by the city administration, stressed that the main goal of the BRT-railway system was to encourage people to stop using private vehicles and instead use public transportation.

Sutanto, who is the director of the University of Indonesia's (UI) Center for Transport Study (CTS), said the concept takes into account the daily flow of people from Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi into the city center.

"Developing a transportation system without taking into account all of Greater Jakarta would be irrational as those areas are an integral part of the city," said Sutanto after explaining his concept in front of Vice Governor Fauzi Bowo on Monday.

According to Sutanto, the BRT-railway system would be supported by transfer facilities and feeder services that would serve most areas of Jakarta and its satellite cities.

The transfer facilities will be developed at a number of railway stations to convey train passengers to the busway.

Public buses will be used to transport passengers from almost all directions of the city to busway routes.

"The busway-railway system will be integrated by the feeder services and transfer facilities that will serve major parts of the city," he added.

A diagram of the transportation concept shows that eight busway corridors, namely

  • Blok M-Kota;
  • Pulo Gadung-Hotel Indonesia traffic circle;
  • Daan Mogot-Juanda;
  • Pulo Gadung-Tanah Abang;
  • Kampung Melayu-Ancol;
  • Kampung Melayu-Cideng;
  • Pasar Minggu-Manggarai;
  • and Cileduk-Cawang,
are to be developed by 2007.

While corridors to be developed from 2007 to 2010 are
  • Kampung Rambutan-Kampung Melayu;
  • Warung Jati-Menteng;
  • Tomang-Harmoni-Pasar Baru;
  • Cakung-Pulo Gebang-Kampung Melayu;
  • Senayan-Pejompongan;
  • Lebak Bulus-Kebayoran Lama;
  • Cakung-Pulo Gadung.
It also mentions supporting factors to the transportation system, including traffic restriction measures, such as road pricing, license plate-based restrictions and the three-in-one policy that may be enforced on main roads such as Sudirman, Thamrin and Rasuna Said.

Sutanto also stated that by 2020 more corridors would be developed to link Jakarta to its satellite cities.
"The development is to anticipate the high growth of commuters," said Sutanto.

Meanwhile, head of the city transportation agency Rustam Affendi said that the concept being developed by CTS could become the main reference of the development of a transportation system in the city, but additional studies could be done to enhance the concept.

Previously, assistant to the city secretary for development affairs Irzal Djamal said that the feeder services would be of a similar standard as the main corridors, which will be served by air-conditioned buses.

Irzal, who is chairman of the busway project, said that the only difference would be that there would be no special tracks for the feeder services.

The planned feeders are:
  • Bekasi-Senayan,
  • Jati Bening-Senayan,
  • Bandara-Kota,
  • Kelapa Gading-Kota,
  • Cibubur-Blok M,
  • Depok-Blok M,
  • Pondok Labu-Blok M,
  • Ciputat- Blok M,
  • Bintaro-Blok M,
  • Cileduk-Blok M,
  • BSD-National Monument (Monas),
  • Alam Sutra-Monas,
  • Kota Modern-Monas
  • and Lippo Karawaci-Monas.


Public campaign for busway needed

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Although busway systems have been developed successfully in many cities of the world, the city administration has been advised not to apply it without securing public support and making comprehensive preparations.

Preparations include social aspects, such as a public campaign to make sure people have adequate understanding of the new policy, and technical aspects like developing bus shelters, special lanes, traffic lights, traffic signs, and preparing feeder routes.

"The system was able to be developed successfully in many cities, because it was prepared very well. But I haven't seen the same preparations here," said Azas Tigor Nainggolan, chairman of Jakarta Residents's Forum (Fakta) last Saturday.

Tigor was among members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who visited Bogota in Colombia -- a city which has successfully developed the bus rapid transit or BRT -- to take part in a short course on transportation.

A similar comment came from another noted urban observer Marco Kusumawijaya, who said that without public support any development program introduced by the city administration, would end in failure.

Marco also stressed the need for the city administration to make sure that related officials have an in depth understanding of the BRT concept so that they can give a comprehensive explanation to the public.

"So far I've never heard a comprehensive concept conveyed about the busway. What I have heard are only incomplete explanations," he added. "If their explanations are seemingly only concerned with restraints, like the three-in-one and license plate-based restriction policies, people will be disappointed."

A number of world's cities which have developed busway systems, include Bogota (Columbia), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Nagoya (Japan), Taipei (Taiwan), Leeds (UK), Chicago and Honolulu (U.S.), Ottawa and Vancouver (Canada), Adelaide and Brisbane (Australia).

Sharing Marco's views, Tigor also stressed the need of public approval for the city administration program which would affect a large number of people in the city.

Tigor said if the project was implemented, it would drastically change the habits and lifestyle of Jakartans.

"Just imagine, people who usually stop a bus anywhere they like will be forced to go to bus shelters. And the people who usually go to work in their own car will have to travel on public buses," he added.

Therefore, a public campaign is very important to make the people understand the project. To find out what the public wants, he added, the city administration needs to hold a poll. If most people say yes, the project could be continued.

But Governor Sutiyoso said previously that polling was not necessary as he asserted that the majority of Jakarta people accepted the busway project.

"I believe the majority of Jakarta people will accept the project as it is designed for them, if there are people who oppose the project, it must be those who use private cars," Sutiyoso said.

Marco, however, expressed skepticism that Jakartans would support the city administration's plan to develop the BRT project which is expected to be launched later this year.

First, he said he was not sure that the city administration had a comprehensive plan to tackle transportation problems in the city. Second, many development projects in the city have ended in failure due to lack of preparation.

And third, the credibility of the city administration is very low due to rampant corruption, collusion and nepotism (KKN), with the result that many projects are not implemented professionally.

Originally, the city administration planned to launch the BRT project, known as Trans Jakarta, late last year. But it was delayed as Governor Sutiyoso realized that it needed further preparation.

Sutiyoso stressed that Trans Jakarta will be launched later this year, but many observers have expressed pessimism as his administration has to date not outlined a clear and thorough concept of the busway system.


'Busway to start in December'

Governor Sutiyoso said on Thursday that the busway program would be implemented in December.

He made the statement to reporters a day after his arrival here from a foreign visit to examine the busway systems in several major cities of South American countries, including Columbia and Mexico.

He said that he had ordered Irzal Djamal, the busway team leader, to study the busway systems in the countries and see which system would be appropriate for Jakarta.

The city administration plans to establish a 12.9-kilometer busway route between Blok M in South Jakarta and Kota in West Jakarta, utilizing 140 buses, of which 80 units will be provided by a consortium of private bus companies, a report from the administration said.

The report said that feeder services and ticketing will be operated by private companies, which will be selected later through a tender.

The feeder service will provide public transportation to take passengers from all areas of Jakarta to sections of the route, which will include Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Thamrin, Jl. Gajah Mada and Hayam Wuruk.

Along with the system, the city administration also plans to extend the three-in-one traffic policy throughout the whole day until afternoon.

The policy, which requires motorists to bring at least two passengers inside their cars, is expected to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use the public transportation.--JP more