Fauzi Bowo: Jakarta Governor. (JP/Nurhayati)
The Jakarta Transportation Council (DTKJ) urged the Jakarta administration on Thursday to increase public transportation tariffs, arguing that the present tariffs were too low and thus contributed to the low quality of public transportation in the city.
The council, whose task is mainly to forward recommendations to the Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo on traffic-related problems, said that the low quality of public transportation in the city led many middle-class citizens to prefer using private cars to public transportation.
“Jakarta citizens are actually willing to pay higher if they get good quality public transportation,” DTKJ head Azas Tigor Nainggolan said in a discussion at the Jakarta Media Center.
Tigor argued that both owners and customers of public transportation were worse-off because of low tariffs, with owners facing difficulties in coping with soaring operating costs and customers being presented with public transportation of limited quality.
DTKJ member Iskandar Abubakar echoed Tigor’s statements, saying that “undervalued” fares of public transportation were the root of traffic problems in the capital.
Iskandar argued that the basic fares for public buses and angkot (public minibuses), both of which currently stand at Rp 2,000 (US 22 cents), were far low that of their operating costs of Rp 2,700 and Rp 3,000, respectively.
“These low tariffs give owners [of public transportation in Jakarta] no choice but to present their customers with public transportation of limited quality,” he argued.
Iskandar also lashed out at Fauzi for his policy of building lavish road infrastructures, such as the so-called “elevated non-toll roads” in several spots throughout the capital.
“Investing in roads will only benefit a small fraction of citizens who are owners of private cars. Investing in public transportation, meanwhile, will bring economic benefit to Jakartans as a whole,” he added. (sat)