Transjakarta operator raises ire of transportation council
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The Jakarta Transportation Council (DTKJ) wants the local administration to sanction a private operator of the Transjakarta Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that allegedly failed to pay its employees.
The council made its statement on Thursday after bus drivers on Transjakarta’s Corridor 1, which runs between Blok M in South Jakarta and in West Jakarta, reported that the corridor operator, PT Jakarta Express Trans (JET), did not pay their salaries in August.
Azas Tigor Nainggolan, the board’s chairman, said that service to BRT passengers would be disrupted if the salary problem was not resolved quickly.
“Failure to provide service constitute a breach of contract. JET should have its contract annulled for the breach,” Azas said.
Last month, hundreds of JET employees went on strike to demand the payment of Idul Fitri holiday bonuses, which are guaranteed to workers under law.
Transjakarta’s routes, also known as corridors, are managed by the Jakarta Transportation Agency through the Transjakarta Management Authority, which supervises operations of individual corridors that are auctioned to private companies.
The authority makes monthly payment to the operators.
Transjakarta Management Authority chief Muhammad Akbar said that JET could quickly resolve its claims of financial troubles and not enough cash on hand to pay employee salaries.
“We haven’t made the August monthly payment to JET because they have yet to send us their monthly invoice. The lack of cash could be easily solved as soon as they send us the invoice,” Akbar said.
Akbar said that other private operators had sent their August invoices earlier this week.
“We are in the dark as to why JET has yet to send us theirs,” Akbar said.
Although JET’s contract with the city expired in late 2011, it was extended until the end of the year. A new operator, PT Damri, won a seven-year contract for the route that will come into effect in January.
The Indonesian National Arbitration Agency (BANI) is currently mediating a financial dispute between The Transjakarta Management Authority and JET.
JET’s operations director, Payaman Manik, said separately that the company would wait for a final decision from the BANI.
Payaman, however, declined to say when — or how — the firm intended to finance its payroll obligations.
JET is asking for the authority to pay additional costs that occurred through their contract period, which started in 2004.
The authority has refused, saying that the costs were not discussed in the contract and that it would only fulfill its contractual obligations.
Corridor 1, which plies the Sudirman Central Business District, is the Transjakarta system’s most popular route, serving up to 80,000 passengers each day.
The system now has around 500 Transjakarta buses plying 11 routes covering 184.31 kilometers that connects the city’s five municipalities. It carried around 120 million passengers last year.