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Jakarta Post

Commuter line keeps physical distancing measure during COVID-19 ‘new normal’

  • Alya Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 29, 2020   /   01:49 pm
Commuter line keeps physical distancing measure during COVID-19 ‘new normal’ Passengers board a commuter train at Manggarai Station in Central Jakarta on May 25, 2020. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

Commuter line operator PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) has asserted that it will maintain COVID-19 health protocols as Jakarta and its satellite cities brace for the transition to the so-called “new normal” period.

The government has urged the public to adjust to the “new normal” – meaning people would be allowed to resume activities of working and commuting to the capital by using public transportation.

However, concerns have been raised among Greater Jakarta commuters over whether commuting to work in jam-packed commuter trains would be safe for them during the pandemic, especially after asymptomatic passengers tested positive for COVID-19 in Bogor and Bekasi stations in West Java earlier this month.

“Wearing a mask in stations and inside trains will remain mandatory, as well as the physical distancing measures and body temperature checks,” PT KCI spokesperson Anne Purba said in a statement on Thursday.

She added that the number of passengers on trains would still be limited during rush hour. If a car is overloaded, the train will not depart until the number of passengers is reduced.

Read also: Greater Jakarta in dark about ‘new normal’ commute

The KCI has also provided more hand-washing facilities in stations. Hand sanitizer will also be available both in stations and carried by officers on trains.

“We also routinely disinfect both the trains and the stations at least nine times a day,” Anne said.

The train operator will not provide rugs, sajadah (prayer mats), sarung and mukena (women’s prayer gowns) in station prayer rooms to prevent virus transmission among passengers.

The KCI also advised its passengers not to talk nor make phone calls when aboard the train in order to prevent transmission through respiratory droplets.

Commuter line passengers are also encouraged to use cashless transactions with multi-trip cards, e-money cards and e-wallet application LinkAja to minimize the risk of transmission.

Anne went on to say the operator had equipped several officers at stations and on trains with face shields.

Despite the new normal, the KCI suggested it was best not to go outside and use public transportation, except for very urgent matters. “Avoid making crowds and taking trains during rush hour if necessary,” said Anne.