Most public transportation companies are almost certain to increase fares to keep pace with fuel prices, a railway company has unilaterally decided to lower fares, despite the extra cost.
Electric train operator PT KAI Commuter Jabodetabek ( KCJ ) has announced new lower fares and a new multi-trip electronic ticketing scheme that will be effective as of Monday.
Commuter fares will decrease from Rp 3,000 ( 30 US cents ) for the first five stations and Rp 1,000 for the next three stations to Rp 2,000 for the first five stations and Rp 500 for every three additional stations consecutively.
The new fares are thanks to funds from the central government.
'KCJ got Rp 200 billion for one year,' KCJ president director Tri Handoyo announced.
The company expects the number of passengers to increase by 10 percent with the cheaper fares.
Besides cheaper fares, KCJ launched multitrip e-tickets, called Commuter Electronic Ticketing ( Commet ).
Commet cards are used in the same way as the single trip cards introduced in April.
Commuter line passengers only have to tap the cards at the gates to enter and exit the platforms.
Card holders can use them for any destination around Greater Jakarta until the credit runs out.
The cards can be topped up with credit ranging from Rp 5,000 to Rp 1,000,000 in all stations in Greater Jakarta.
'The credit will be automatically be deducted when the passengers tap out at the destination,' he said.
The company began selling the cards priced at Rp 33,000 ' Rp 20,000 for the card and Rp 13,000 of credit ' at all stations since Monday and 5,000 cards have already been sold.
The cards are fully transferable and can be used by anyone.
Credit is refundable.
There are 200,000 of the cards ready to anticipate high demand next Monday.
From that day, paper tickets will no longer valid for the commuter journeys.
The new system will be beneficial for commuters because there will be no more waiting in line for tickets. Passengers can just walk straight onto the platforms.
Commet cards right now can only be used at stations in Greater Jakarta.
KCJ has plans to cooperate with banks and other public transportation systems, including Transjakarta buses, to create an integrated card system.
Governor Joko 'Jokowi' 'Widodo said on Wednesday that he had canceled the expected increase in Transjakarta fares.
Only a day before he had announced that Transjakarta fares would be raised to Rp 5,000 from the current price of Rp 3,500.
'After recalculation, I decide to cancel the increase of Transjakarta fares, but we will propose increases in the fares of other economy-class public transportation to the Jakarta Legislative Council,' he said.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono said that the city planned to increase the fare only after expanding the Transjakarta fleet later this year.