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Jakarta Post

Minister Luhut calls on transportation providers to not reduce services

Minister Luhut calls on transportation providers to not reduce services Passengers ride on a commuter line train on March 3. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)
Riza Roidila Mufti and Sausan Atika (The Jakarta Post)
Jakarta   ●   Tue, March 17, 2020 2020-03-17 11:28 426 7f440ff09e92db75a02bbad206b285f4 1 Business Indonesia,COVID-19,Transportation,restriction,Luhut-Binsar-Pandjaitan,instruction,busway,MRT Free

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is calling on public transportation providers to not reduce the frequency and capacity of their services despite the government’s appeal for people to work and study at home.

Luhut said during a live online press conference on Monday that he had talked with all state-owned and city-owned transportation providers about them resuming normal services.

“There will be no reduction in public transportation services. Rather, if needed we will add [to them],” said Luhut. “We do not want the MRT to be crammed because crammed public transportation is one of the mediums for the coronavirus spreading,” he added.

On Monday, a restriction on the operational hours of public transportation imposed by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 appears to have backfired, with large crowds and long lines building up at Transjakarta and MRT Jakarta stations across the capital.

Transportation Ministry Land Director General Budi Setyadi called on the Jakarta administration and the city Transportation Agency to reevaluate the restrictions. He called for the city administration to consult with the Transportation Ministry first before making policy about public transportation. 

After a chaotic Monday caused by the limited transportation services, Anies Baswedan on Monday evening said in a press conference that MRT Jakarta, Transjakarta and LRT Jakarta would get back to normal on Tuesday without any operational restrictions. However, the administration said it would limit the number of passengers in each train car and bus.

"In line with the president's [Joko Widodo's] instructions regarding public transportation operations, we hereby will return the operations to normal with high frequencies and we will carry out social discipline," said Anies.

The Jakarta governor also asked schools in Jakarta to close and teachers to arrange online learning methods for their students. Many government and private offices have also asked their employees to work remotely at home.

"This means that there will be a limitation on the number of passengers per bus and per car in every mode of public transportation operating under the Jakarta provincial government. There will also be restrictions on the number of people queuing at the bus stops and stations," said Anies.