Commuters need to learn about new ticketing system
Yuli Tri Suwarni
The Jakarta Post
Most commuter train passengers in the city and surrounding areas were not aware of the e-ticketing system on the first day of its implementation on Monday and would need more time to adjust to the low-fare commuter trains.
Despite a successful trial run on Sunday, many passengers did not know that a new ticketing scheme had been put in place and many others complained of long lines at several railway stations to purchase electronic cards, which are used to get in and get out of trains.
Long lines were seen at railway stations in Bogor, Depok, Bekasi and Manggarai. Commuters were lined up from 5:30 a.m. at most railway stations in Depok.
Commuter line operator PT KAI Commuter Jabodetabek (KCJ) applied new distance-based fares and a multi-trip electronic ticketing scheme, lowering commuter line fares to Rp 2,000 (20 US cents) for the first five stations and Rp 500 for every additional three stations. Formerly, the fares were Rp 3,000 for the first five stations and Rp 1,000 for every additional three stations.
Prior to the implementation of the distance-based fares, the operator applied single fares of up to
Rp 8,000 for all commuter routes.
State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan, who officiated the implementation of the new ticketing system, called on people to adjust to the new system.
'Don't keep the electronic cards as souvenirs but use them to make your life easy,' he said.
At Bekasi railway station, it took about two hours for commuters to pass through the electronic gates to enter the station.
Technical glitches at the Bogor- Jakarta line later added to the chaos of the first day, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded for about three hours.
Rini Siswati, a Depok resident who works at a private bank in Central Jakarta, had to wait in line for 40 minutes to purchase a single trip card.
'It took a long time to buy tickets as there are two different types of cards now: the single trip and multi trips. Also, the scanners weren't reading all the cards properly,' she said on Monday at the New Depok railway station.
Old Depok station head Didin Wahyudin said that technical glitches at Citayam Station and a blackout that hit Duren Kalibata Station worsened the situation.
'We allowed commuters refunds on their tickets but we called on them to immediately leave the line,' he said.
State-owned railway operator PT KAI Area II spokesman Sukendar Mulya said that technical glitches that hit an economy-class train halted four commuter line trains with the capacity of up to 3,800 passengers.
'We needed 20 minutes to evacuate the economy-class train, but nonetheless there was an impact,' he said, adding that the various incidents that occurred on the first day of the new ticketing system would be evaluated.
He also said that KCJ would provide more electronic gates to facilitate the smooth purchase of cards and to easily get in and out of the commuter trains.
KCJ currently operates 48 air -conditioned trains a day, including nine economy-class trains, in Greater Jakarta, serving an average of 46 million economy-class commuters a year or around 120,000 people per day.
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