The Jakarta Post
An officer of state-owned railway operator PT KAI checks the condition of a train car on the Argo Parahyangan train, which serves the Jakarta-Bandung route. (tempo.co/Prima Mulia)
Customers of state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) should keep an eye out for any changes in their train schedules in the coming weeks. The company has announced it will implement new Train Route Graphics (Gapeka) this December.
Hendra Wahyono, KAI deputy executive vice president for operational region 2 in Bandung, West Java, said that the revamped Gapeka would alter the routes and departure schedules that the company had established in 2017.
“Expect altered routes. Routes that normally end in Bandung, for instance, may now continue until Gambir or Senen in Central Jakarta,” Hendra said on Monday.
He said the extended routes and altered schedules were expected to provide the public – especially those traveling from Jakarta to Bandung or vice versa – with alternatives. Until recently, travelers have had no other option but to book seats on the Argo Parahyangan train to reach the two populous destinations.
“Four other trains, namely Argo Wilis, Mutiara Selatan, Malabar and Turangga will no longer stop in Bandung. They will instead continue the journey to Gambir or Senen. This will give more options to Bandung residents looking to travel to Jakarta or vice versa,” Hendra added.
According to the 2017 Gapeka, Argo Wilis serves the route from Bandung to Gubeng Station in Surabaya, East Java, with an estimated time of arrival (ETA) of 11 hours. It will soon change to the Gambir-Bandung-Gubeng route with an ETA of 16 hours. Similarly, Turangga’s Bandung-Surabaya-Gubeng route with an estimated ETA of 12 hours will also be extended to the Gambir-Bandung-Surabaya route with an ETA of 17 hours.
Mutiara Selatan -- which normally serves the route from Bandung to Malang in East Java with an ETA of 16 hours -- will be used to serve the new Gambir-Bandung-Gubeng-Malang route with an ETA of 20 hours. Malabar’s original Bandung-Malang route, with an ETA of 15 hours, will also be extended to the Senen-Bandung-Malang route with an ETA of 19 hours.
“In total, there will be 38 departures to Jakarta,” Hendra said, adding that he was optimistic the company would see a significant rise in the passenger occupancy rate following the implementation of the new Gapeka.
The company’s operational region 2 had previously recorded a 90 percent occupancy rate for Argo Parahyangan. That number increased to between 98 and 100 percent before and during weekends.
“The train is usually fully occupied from Fridays to Sundays. It’s about time we employed more trains to accommodate passengers bound for Jakarta from Bandung or vice versa,” Hendra said. He added that the new schedules would not affect ticket prices.
He urged customers to check departure schedules before purchasing tickets to anticipate any changes.
KAI previously set a target of 18.3 million passengers to serve this year. Hendra said he was confident the new routes and schedules would attract 19.2 million passengers. As of November, the company had reached 90 percent of its target. (rfa/wng)