New busway routes up and running

The Jakarta Post - Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso did the honors on Sunday at City Hall on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan, Central Jakarta, sounding a siren to launch the opening of two more busway corridors in the capital.

With the success of the first Blok M-Kota corridor, launched two years ago amid widespread criticism that it was unsuitable for Jakarta, the governor as well as members of the public, the business community and the once skeptical media had good reason to feel confident as the new blue-and-white additions went into service at Pulogadung terminal.

Sutiyoso told the gathering that an estimated 40 million people had used the busway service since it began operations, with an average of 1.7 million passengers in the past two months.

"According to a survey by JICA and the administration, 14 percent of a total of about 4.8 million private car owners have switched to the busway," he said, referring to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

"With the two new corridors, we hope more and more Jakartans will leave their cars at home and take the busway instead."

The first additional corridor, covering 14.3 kilometers, begins in Pulogadung bus station in East Jakarta and ends at Harmoni in Central Jakarta. The second new one, spanning a distance of 18.7 kilometers, stretches from Harmoni to Kalideres bus station in West Jakarta.

A ride from Pulogadung to Harmoni takes about 30 minutes while passengers need only 45 minutes to arrive at Kalideres from Harmoni.

For a fare of Rp 3,500 (37 U.S. cents), passengers are entitled to switch between the corridors on the line until they reach their final destination.

"I will try to use the busway to go to the office. If it is like the first one, then I will definitely take the busway and sell my car," said Fadli Chandra, a resident of Pulogadung who works for a private bank in Kota, West Jakarta. --JP

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