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Jakarta Post

Public transportation ridership drops by 70 percent

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 20, 2020   /   07:47 pm
Public transportation ridership drops by 70 percent Passengers wearing face masks ride a Transjakarta bus on Wednesday. The number of public transportation passengers, especially in Jakarta, has significantly dropped by up to 70 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AFP/Adek Berry)

The effect of social distancing and the work-from-home policy has created a significant decrease in the number of public transportation passengers, the Transportation Ministry reported.

"There has been a drop of about 40 to 70 percent," the ministry's spokesperson, Adita Irawati said in a written statement published by the ministry on Friday.

The statement said the ministry had followed President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's call for social distancing, by applying such measures in airports, seaports, railway stations and bus terminals.

"The decline in passenger numbers is part of an effort to reduce crowds and prevent further spread of COVID-19," Irawati said, adding that the fall in the number of passengers indicated that the strategy to reduce people's mobility to stymie the virus had been successful.

As of Friday afternoon, Indonesia’s death toll from COVID-19 had risen to 32 while the number of infected people had reached 369. Jakarta has recorded the highest death toll in the country with 18 fatalities.

Adita explained that the ministry had also ordered transportation operators to carry out frequent thorough cleaning using disinfectant, provide hand sanitizers and masks for sick passengers and measure the body temperature of employees and passengers before they board any means of public transportation.

She said the ministry had imposed other measures on public transportation such as keeping distance between passengers and limiting the number of passengers on board to only 50 percent of capacity.

To support the government's policy in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Transportation Ministry has been coordinating with regional transportation agencies. 

Complying with the top officials’ call for social distancing, the Jakarta Transportation Agency has also issued a public statement for city public transportation operators to raise alarm against the transmission of COVID-19. 

Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo told the Post that passenger numbers on Transjakarta buses had decreased by about 50 percent to 501,126, as recorded on Thursday. Transjakarta buses usually transport over 1 million passengers a day.

The number of LRT passengers dropped to 1,246 on Thursday from the usual 4,000 passengers per day.

PT MRT president director Jakarta William Sabandar also reported that the number of passengers on the MRT had nosedived to 28,000 people a day, a drop of around 72 percent from the usual 100,000 passengers.

PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) also suffered a decline after the COVID-19 outbreak hit the city. KCI's spokesperson Anne Purba said the number of passengers on the city commuter train had dropped up to 50 percent.

"We only transported approximately 550,000 passengers on Thursday, fewer than the usual 1 million passengers a day," she told the Post. (trn)