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Jakarta Post

MRT, LRT and Transjakarta limit passenger numbers, but resume normal operating hours

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 17, 2020   /   12:49 pm
MRT, LRT and Transjakarta limit passenger numbers, but resume normal operating hours People line up at the Puribeta Transjakarta shelter in Tangerang city, Banten, on March 16. Jakarta's public transportation operators limited hours on March 16 amid the coronavirus pandemic but resumed normal operations on March 17. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The Jakarta Transportation Agency announced Monday that the city's public transportation, such as Transjakarta buses, MRT and LRT, would resume normal operations on Tuesday after a policy to restrict their operational hours in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 backfired, causing long lines at stations and bus stops.

"We'll resume normal operating hours but we'll limit passenger numbers in each mode of transportation," agency head Syafrin Liputo said on Monday.

He said passenger capacity for the MRT would be limited to 360 passengers from 1,200 per trip, while LRT capacity would be limited to 80 people from 270.

"For Transjakarta, the passenger limit is 60, previously 150, in articulated buses and 30 passengers in normal buses, previously 80 passengers," Syafrin said.

He also explained that Transjakarta had modified its routes to focus on corridors with high demand.

"With the new passenger limit, we will need to increase [bus] supply by 200 percent in corridors with high demand. It means [we'll reduce service] in corridors with very low load factor," he said.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said resuming normal operations while limiting passengers was necessary to prevent crowding in stations, bus stops and on board public transportation.

"We'll manage our fleet so headway is shorter. MRT cars will arrive every five minutes during rush hour," he said.

Anies urges passengers to maintain distance while waiting for public transportation.

"Every passenger should actively practice social distancing. We've seen examples in countries where people did not seriously implement social distancing and the virus spread very rapidly. It's not only about obeying rules, it's about protecting oneself, protecting others and protecting the public," he said.

Prior to the announcement, the Transportation Ministry's land transportation director general, Budi Setiyadi, had asked the Jakarta administration to review the policy of restricting public transportation operational hours, saying that it was counterproductive to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"I hope the Jakarta administration and the Jakarta Transportation Agency reevaluates the policy. As it has caused long lines and crowding in Transjakarta bus stops. It is counterproductive to the initial goal of preventing the spread of coronavirus in public transportation," said Budi in a statement

He also said the ministry had urged all public transportation operators in the country to take preventive measures in curbing COVID-19 infections.

"We urge [all operators] to tighten their health checkups, provide hand sanitizer, ask passengers to wear masks, reduce vehicle capacity and clean tap-on gates, vehicles' seats, windows, doors, and handles with disinfectant," he said.