The Jakarta Post
After 10 years in operation, the Transjakarta bus service now has a minimum service standard (SPM) guaranteeing the rights and safety of passengers.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Muhammad Akbar said on Saturday that the SPM, imposed via Gubernatorial Regulation No. 35/2014, would force Transjakarta operators to improve services.
'The SPM sets clear standards for Transjakarta and will help it become a better form of public transportation,' he said.
The SPM covers security, safety, comfort, pricing, equality and reliability of both Transjakarta buses and shelters.
Security, for example, pertains to the condition of the buses, safety equipment and emergency information.
Comfort relates to air-conditioning, passenger capacity and the cleanliness and lighting of buses and shelters.
Crucially for passengers, the SPM sets a maximum wait time between buses of seven minutes during peak hours and 15 minutes during regular hours.
The SPM also mandates buses run no longer than 10 minutes behind schedule.
During rush hour, passengers have reported waiting up to two hours for their bus to come.
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) country director Yoga Adiwinarto said the SPM guaranteed the terms of service passengers were entitled to after purchasing a ticket.
'If the service passengers get is not the same as what's stated in the SPM, they can sue the government,' he said.
Yoga added that the SPM would be used by the city administration to determine the subsidy paid to Transjakarta via a public service obligation (PSO).
Though the operation of Transjakarta buses is under the auspices of the Transportation Agency's Transjakarta Management Body, city-owned firm PT Transjakarta will take the reins in the near future.
'The administration will use the SPM to evaluate the performance of the company to decide the amount of the PSO it will get,' he said.
Yoga recommended that the city administration regularly evaluate the company every three months to improve service.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of a bus user community called Suara Transjakarta, David Tjahjana, said he was glad that after 10 years, Transjakarta had finally set a minimum service standard.
'I have not read the regulation, so I don't really know whether the SPM is adequate but it is an important step to improve our public transportation service,' he said.
David said he and the members of Suara Transjakarta had proposed an SPM to the city administration several years ago.
'The SPM will set clear grounds for customers when they want to file complaints, so the complaints will not be based on subjective feeling,' he said.
David went on to say that he understood it would take time for Transjakarta to implement the SPM. 'It is impossible to become perfect overnight, but at least there will be improvement,' he said.
According to David, Transjakarta needed the most improvement in waiting time, access for disabled passengers and the comfort of passengers inside the bus.
Recently, the city has taken several steps to improve Transjakarta service, including clearing traffic from bus lanes, adding more buses and providing feeder buses.
Tranjakarta currently has around 500 buses serving 350,000 passengers in 12 corridors across the city daily. The city has allocated Rp 1.7 trillion (US$147 million) to the service.