Derelict: Commuters wait for a bus at a defaced busway shelter. As the Transjakarta bus rapid transit operator extends operating hours later into the night starting Friday, many commuters still long for better public transportation infrastructure. JP/P.J. Leo
The Transjakarta bus rapid transit management body (BLU) extended operating hours on Corridor 2 (Pulogadung-Harmoni) and Corridor 3 (Kalideres-Pasar Baru) on Friday, but commuters said they were more concerned about neglected busway infrastructure rather than extended night hours.
Transjakarta buses normally operate between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. The extension added another hour to the hours of operation.
Busway commuter Harisma Trianggita, 24, told The Jakarta Post on Friday that it was better for the Transjakarta Busway to focus on maintenance, especially at shelters.
“It seems that there is no maintenance at all in the shelters, it just looks good in the beginning,”
Harisma, who frequently commutes on the Transjakarta to her office in Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta, said that most of Indonesia’s public infrastructure problems were related to maintenance.
Busway terminal ceiling pieces were detached at the Slipi-Petamburan shelter when the Post was there Friday. The same was true at the Semanggi transit center, where pieces of ceiling were piled up in a corner.
Automatic doors connecting to the bus were wrecked and open, while passengers pushed to the edge of the terminal’s bridge and
others jostled in the back, putting passengers on the edge at risk of falling.
Wrecked doors were not only found at Slipi-Petamburan but also at Senayan-JCC and Semanggi. At those shelters, several fire hydrant boxes were empty, and garbage such as cigarettes, tissues, scraps of paper, drink bottles and instant noodle plastic was easily found on the connecting bridges.
Retno, a mother who travels frequently between Harmoni and Semanggi, told the Post that she saw passengers bursting from bus stop doors at Harmoni.
“I often see passengers thronged at shelter doors because they are open. I am worried they may fall,” she said.
Another commuter, Diah, told the Post that at Dukuh Atas the doors should automatically operate but she was puzzled because the doors did not operate like they were supposed to.
“If the doors are working and people are lining up in an orderly manner, we feel more comfortable,” she said. “Maybe we should control the maintenance every day if we need to.”
Contacted separately, BLU spokesperson Yuliani Evta said that maintenance was done periodically.
“I don’t know exactly whether it is weekly or monthly,” she said.
Yuliani said that sometimes passengers wanted the doors open, especially during rush hour.
“We wedge the doors [open] and they eventually break. We are currently striving to make the doors functional again,” she said.
She said that the BLU paid attention to maintenance, while other infrastructure such as connecting bridges were under the responsibility of the Public Works Agency.
Institute of Transportation Studies director Darmaningtyas said that the BLU should check the
infrastructure every day, but he doubted that they had the capability to do so.
“We are already known as the ones who are good at building infrastructure but not good at maintaining it,” he said.
On Friday, BLU director Muhammad Akbar said that operation hours at certain shelters along Corridor 2 and Corridor 3 would remain open during the extended hours: nine shelters out of 22 on Corridor 2 and nine out of 13 shelters on Corridor 3.
“We have seen positive results from passengers after we extended operation hours on two corridors,” Muhammad said.
Operation hours were previously added on Corridor 1 (Blok M-Harmoni) and Corridor 9 (Pinang Ranti-Pluit).
Corridors 1 and 9 are Transjakarta’s most popular routes, serving up to 80,000 and 43,000 passengers respectively each day.
The BLU is considering extending hours on other Transjakarta routes.
Transjakarta currently operates 10 routes. Two more will be constructed in the next two years.