The Jakarta Post
MRT Jakarta is increasing headway time to 10 minutes starting on Thursday because of a staggering decrease in commuter numbers caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that has prompted the government to encourage a work-from-home policy for residents.
City-owned PT MRT Jakarta made the decision after considering the dwindling numbers of commuters, the company’s operational and maintenance director Muhammad Effendi said. The policy was also formulated amid the public health emergency and the state of emergency declared by the Jakarta administration.
The headway was increased from the regular five minutes during the peak hours of operation.
Over the last three days, the number of MRT passengers has plummeted from 13,000 to 3,000, according to the company.
“Our evaluation shows that the number of passengers has decreased by over 90 percent from the number we usually recorded,” Effendi said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Despite the longer headway time, however, the company’s policy restricting each train to only carrying a total of 60 passengers would remain in effect, he said. The company’s physical-distancing policy, which entails maintaining a minimum safe distance of 1 meter between passengers, would also still be implemented, he added.
On March 17, the Jakarta Transportation Agency announced that the capital’s public transportation, such as Transjakarta, MRT Jakarta and LRT Jakarta, would resume normal operations after a policy to restrict their operational hours in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 backfired, causing buildups at stations and bus stops.
Three days later, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan declared a state of emergency for the following two weeks in the capital city in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anies said the administration would still limit public transportation to reduce mobility and curb the spread of the virus. (rfa)