'MRT gives car owners alternatives'

The Jakarta administration is building a mass rapid transit system in response to the city's debilitating traffic conditions. The busway is seen as a temporary measure, to see the city through until the MRT is functioning.The Jakarta Post asked people about the issue.

Tom Anggara, 42, is the director of a travel agency in Harmoni, Central Jakarta. He lives in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta:

It is time for Jakarta to have an MRT, to stop private vehicle ownership from getting out of control.

I am confident the presence of an MRT system would help reduce traffic congestion in Jakarta as people would have more options.
Look at the encouraging response to the busway, which is the only public transportation means offering safe, comfortable and fast service.

In term of its transportation system, Jakarta has left Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore far behind.
However, the government needs to carry out a thorough environmental impact analysis of the MRT project.
The development of busway corridors has caused traffic jams in several areas that were not previously affected.
I hope the MRT does not add to the city's traffic problems.

Rimson Gultom, 40, works for an insurance company in Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta. He lives with his family in Kampung Rambutan, East Jakarta:

The MRT system is the only way to improve Jakarta's transportation situation. But it must not only link areas in Jakarta. It must tie into the systems of supporting cities like Bekasi, Depok and Tangerang, because thousands of cars enter Jakarta every day from those areas.

If there was comfortable public transportation, many people would be happy to leave their cars at home. Another important thing to think about is the MRT's market. It should be targeting people on reasonable salaries.

I have ridden a motorcycle to work for more than eight years. I can manage my time because traffic jams are not a big issue for me. Many people do the same thing to avoid spending hours on the road.

-- The Jakarta Post


TransJakarta responds

The Jakarta Post

In response to the letter in The Jakarta Post on April 3 titled Busway service below standards, firstly we would like to thank Merikenin for delivering said feedback to the TransJakarta Management Agency.

The quality of our bus service in TransJakarta Corridors II and III is currently below the expected standard due to a shortage of buses. Out of the 31 buses planned to operate in Corridor II, only 26 are currently serving the line, whereas of the 40 buses planned for corridor III, only 35 are available. The rest of the buses are currently undergoing assembly and natural gas engine certification processes.

Consequently, the shortage of buses inevitably leads to overcrowding in Corridors II and III. The management also employs security guards to help with problems created by the overcrowding of Busway lines. They are tasked with controlling the queue line and assisting the passengers's entry to the buses.

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our passengers, and would like to offer our assurance that the TransJakarta Management Agency is working hard to rectify the problem.

With regards to unruly TransJakarta drivers's driving behavior, we assure our passengers that TransJakarta treats its busway drivers with the strictest discipline measures. TransJakarta Management has fired a number of its drivers for violating the service level required by the standard Operating Procedures and for driving irresponsibly.

We are available for anyone who wishes to contact us to convey his or her complaints or suggestions through our service hotline at 722-8727.

Head of TransJakarta
Busway Management Agency,