KRL, Transjakarta collision highlights danger of crossings
Dewanti A. Wardhani
The Jakarta Post
A recent collision between a KRL electric train operated by PT Kereta Commuter Jabodetabek (KCJ) and a bus operated by city-owned PT Transportasi Jakarta (Transjakarta busway), though leaving no victims, has highlighted the need to build flyovers or underpasses at railroad crossings.
The collision occurred on Saturday afternoon at a railroad crossing on Jl. Panjang, West Jakarta, between a bus on Transjakarta Corridor 8 traveling from Harmoni, Central Jakarta, to Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta, and a KRL train traveling from Duri, West Jakarta, to Tangerang.
State-owned train operator PT KAI Operation Region I spokesman Bambang S. Prayitno urged the city administration to speed up the development of overpasses and underpasses at railroad crossings to prevent accidents and collisions.
'Accidents between our trains and wheeled vehicles often occur at railroad crossings. Ideally, there should be an overpass or underpass at all level crossings. This would solve the problem,' Bambang said over the weekend in an official statement.
Bambang said that collisions at railroad crossings caused not only financial losses but also fatalities. A 2013 railroad crossing collision between an electric commuter train and a gasoline tanker in Pondok Betung, Bintaro, South Jakarta, for example, killed five people and injured 91 others, nine of whom suffered burns injuries.
He went on to say that according to Law No. 23/2007 on trains, regional governments were responsible for building overpasses and underpasses at railroad crossings. In this case, he said, the Jakarta administration was fully responsible for all railroad crossings in the city.
Currently, there are 549 railroad crossings in the capital, 197 of which are unofficial ' not intended for public access but used by locals as shortcuts. These crossings often lack barriers.
'We support the Jakarta administration's plan to gradually eliminate railroad crossings [by building overpasses and underpasses],' Bambang said.
Currently, the city administration is finishing up the development of an overpass at the busy railroad crossing in Permata Hijau, South Jakarta.
The administration planned to build at least three other underpasses and overpasses at crossings but the projects were delayed because the administration failed to secure permits for multiyear contracts from the city council.
The delayed projects included overpasses at the Cipinang Lontar railway crossing in East Jakarta and the Bintaro crossing in South Jakarta and an underpass at the Jl. Kartini crossing in Central Jakarta.
Separately, Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama complained that KAI's complicated bureaucracy impeded development and the issuance of permits.
'Before we begin construction at a railroad crossing, we need to get a permit from KAI to assure them that we can ensure construction safety. However, it's difficult to obtain such a permit,' Ahok told reporters at city hall over the weekend.
He went on to ask KAI to ease the process for the city administration to receive permits in order to more quickly begin construction.
'Don't make us check here and there, the bureaucracy is too complicated,' Ahok said.
The collision on Jl. Panjang occurred due to negligence from the Transjakarta bus driver. Transjakarta president director ANS Kosasih said the bus driver had initially stopped the vehicle and waited for the train to cross. However, the driver did not notice that the bus began to slowly move forward because he was checking his cell phone. The bus then crashed into a moving train.
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