Capital welcomes Jokowi's tourist buses
Sita W. Dewi
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta administration introduced its tourist buses to the public on Thursday ' the first-ever hop-on-hop-off city tour service ' to support its program of developing the tourist industry.
Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo was all smiles as he emerged from one of the double-decker buses at City Hall.
'I made the team of designers revise the prototype three times until I finally approved it,' he told reporters while looking at the buses parked in front of his office. 'Now it feels like we're in London.'
The buses were displayed at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta before taking their maiden tour with city officials and the media.
The buses followed a route of Jl. MH Thamrin, Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat, Jl. Juanda, Lapangan Banteng, Jl. Veteran, Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara and Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan to end the tour at City Hall in Central Jakarta.
Along the route, passengers could see the capital's tourist attractions and iconic sites like the National Monument (Monas), the National Museum, Pasar Baru market, Istiqlal Mosque, the Jakarta Cathedral and the State Palace.
Each bus has a capacity of 60 passengers, with two seats dedicated for disabled individuals.
The double-decker tourist bus is one of Jokowi's attempts to rebrand Jakarta as an attractive tourist destination.
Tourism and Culture Agency head Arie Budhiman said the service would be fully operational by the end of the month, pending checks.
'At the moment we're still processing all the documents,' he said during the launch, adding that the city expected to attract 3,000 passengers daily.
'We only have five buses, which probably leave every hour. There will be 10 stops along the route where passengers can hop off, explore the tourist sites near the stop and hop on the next bus to continue the tour,' he said.
He pointed out that the trips were free of charge.
'Passengers do not need to buy tickets for the moment. We will evaluate this after three months,' he said, pointing out that in the future, free tickets would be available at hotels, malls and airports.
The administration has proposed Rp 4.5 billion (US$373,500) in its budget for the service. It also included in the budget proposal a plan to buy 20 more of the double-decker buses this year.
Arie said another fleet would be prepared to serve the second route, which will start from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and continue to Jl. Sudirman, the Semanggi cloverleaf, Jl. Gatot Subroto, the Sultan Hotel, the TVRI national TV building, the Mulia Hotel, Plaza Senayan shopping mall and return to Jl. Sudirman to end at the traffic circle.
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