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Jakarta Post

Commuter line operations return to normal after social distancing measures backfire

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 23, 2020   /   03:10 pm
Commuter line operations return to normal after social distancing measures backfire Passengers fill a commuter line train at the new Depok Station in Depok, West Java, on March 23. (JP/Riand Alfiandy)

State-owned commuter line operator PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) has reverted to normal operations after its decision to reduce the number of trips and operating hours to encourage social distancing backfired on Monday.  

Photos on social media showed packed train cars on Monday morning, despite Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan's plea for corporations to close down their offices for the next 14 days in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

"We carried out evaluation this morning and we will revert operation times to normal starting 3 p.m this afternoon," KCI spokesperson Anne Purba said in a written statement on Monday.

The commuter line will once again run 991 trips and operate from 4 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Monday after initially reducing the number of trips to 371 and shortening its services to 6 a.m. to 8 p.m..

Hildagardis Ananta, 23, a bank employee, who took a 6.47 a.m. commuter train from Bekasi to Jakarta Kota Station, said the train started getting packed after arriving at Cakung Station.

"They said it was supposed to be 40 people maximum per train car but it was way beyond that," she told The Jakarta Post.

She said that she would consider not taking the commuter line again due to COVID-19 concerns.

"I’m sure that I’m in good health right now but I'm worried that I might be a virus carrier. So I'll probably take app-based ride-hailing transportation next time," she said.

Anies declared a 14-day state of emergency in the capital on Saturday to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

He urged all stakeholders – including corporations, social organizations and religious groups – to take drastic action to prevent the spread of the disease during the state of emergency.

As of Monday morning, Indonesia has announced 514 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 307 of which are in Jakarta.(trn)