Transjakarta’s articulated buses will start serving the public this month, traveling on Corridor 5 connecting Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta and Ancol in North Jakarta, Governor Fauzi Bowo said Tuesday.
“We will start operating the articulated buses some time this month,” he said at City Hall.
Transjakarta and the city administration said they would begin operating the articulated buses after they had agreed on an operational rate with the consortium providing the buses. The consortium, PT Jakarta Mega Trans (JMT), and the city administration are still negotiating the rate at present.
Fauzi said, however, the administration had decided to start the operation without waiting for the negotiation to finish.
Consisting of a number of bus operators, JMT is a company responsible for the procurement of buses for Corridor 5.
JMT has supplied 17 articulated buses out of the 30 required for the corridor. The 17 buses have been sitting idle since September last year.
The remaining 13 articulated buses are being procured by bus operator PT Lorena, which won a public tender last year.
The administration has delayed operation of the 17 idle articulated buses and is using single buses, initially intended for other corridors because of the unsettled rate agreement.
Busway operator Transjakarta plans to pay JMT Rp 22,597 (US$2.44) per kilometer of travel, while JMT has proposed to charge Transjakarta approximately Rp 26,000 per kilometer.
Tender winner Lorena submitted a rate of Rp 16,661 per kilometer for bus operations on Corridor 5.
In addition, Primajasa also outbid its competitors in the tenders after offering a rate of Rp 9,536 per kilometer for Corridor 4 (Pulo Gadung in East Jakarta to Dukuh Atas in Central Jakarta), and Rp 9,371 per kilometer on Corridor 6 (Ragunan to Kuningan, both in South Jakarta).
The bids offered by Lorena and Primajasa have in turn pushed the administration to pay JMT and another consortium, PT Jakarta Trans Metropolitan (JTM), the same amount offered by both tender winners.
Transjakarta now pays JTM Rp 12,885 per kilometer traveled on Corridors 4 and 6.
As a consequence of the administration’s plan, JMT and JTM are now negotiating a rate with the administration for operation on Corridor 5 and three other corridors.
Transportation observers hail the administration’s plan to operate articulated buses without waiting for the rate negotiation.
Bambang Susantono of the Indonesian Transportation Society and Budi Kuntjoro, a former Institute for Transportation and Development Policy member, said the move was necessary for the public.
“People are in dire need of articulated buses because they can carry twice as many commuters as single buses,” Bambang said.
Budi said the administration could formulate the rate agreement while the buses were in operation without any trouble.
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