Responding to commuter demands, state railway operator PT Kereta Api ( KA ) says it will slash ticket prices for routes serving Greater Jakarta Area by 20 percent.
KA agreed to the new pricing scheme after meeting with members of the House of Representatives’ Commission V overseeing transportation and representatives of several commuter groups on Saturday.
For the Jakarta-Bogor route, the longest railway line in Greater Jakarta, KA will charge Rp 7,000 per seat, down from the current price of Rp 9,000 ( US$1.05 ) but higher that the Rp 4,500 to Rp 5,500 cost of a regular air-conditioned train ticket.
KAI originally planned to roll out a new commuter railway system on July 2 where express air-conditioned trains would stop at all stations and where ticket prices would have been fixed at Rp 9,000 for all classes of train service.
Under the scheme approved this weekend, tickets for trains on the Jakarta-Depok route will cost
Rp 6,000, trains on the Jakarta-Bekasi route will cost Rp 6,500, trains on the Jakarta-Tangerang route will cost Rp 5,500 and trains on the Jakarta-Serpong route will cost Rp 6000.
A representative from the KRL Mania commuter group lauded KA’s decision, saying the initial pricing scheme was set arbitrarily.
“From Rp 5,500 to Rp 9,000 is too much for an increase. That’s almost a 70 percent increase. KA should have discussed the scheme with us so we could have reached a win-win solution” KRL Mania spokesman Agam Fatchurrochman told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
In the meeting, KRL Mania made two demands. “We want PT KA to slash prices on the new commuter line system and we want more trains dispatched under the new system, especially subsidized economy-class trains,” Agam said.
Agam criticized KA’s original plan to cut subsidized economy train service by up to 12 percent.
“The economy trains currently comprise around 35 percent of total train operations. They are always packed because out of the 123 million passengers we have a day, 56 percent use the economy train,” he said.
“Just imagine how chaotic the situation would be if the number of economy class trains was reduced by 12 percent,” Agam said.
KA has not announced schedules to back up previous promises to deploy more economy class trains.
Abdul Hakim, a legislator on Commission V, said the new ticket prices were the best solution.
“The new arrangement is the most rational. The public can easily accept it while it can help pay for the operational cost of PT KA,” Abdul said. ( awd )