March 07, 2009

TransJakarta Passengers Demand More Buses For Corridor 8

Passengers of the Transjakarta busway’s corridor 8, linking Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to Harmoni in Central Jakarta, have urged the operator to procure more buses to cut down on waiting times.

Tarmizi, a busway commuter, said he often had to wait very long for the bus during rush hour.

“It’d be great if the operator increased the bus fleet for corridor 8 for the sake of passenger comfort,” said Tarmizi, who rides the bus daily from Lebak Bulus to his office in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta.

“The buses are always crowded, especially after working hours, at about 6 or 7 p.m.

“Although it gets uncomfortable, I have to keep riding the bus because I have no choice. I don’t want to wait for another bus because the conditions will be the same,” he said.

Fellow commuter Sri Isnaini agreed.

“You can see the number of people riding busway corridor 8 increasing every day. So the operator should consider getting more buses,” said Isnaini, 28.

“That would also cut the waiting times for passengers.

“I have to wait about 10 to 15 minutes for the bus. I think that waiting time is normal, but it would be great if it could be shortened,” she said.

Transjakarta’s corridor 8 went into operation on Feb. 21, after missing several deadlines.

The last delay of a week was due to technical problems. Transjakarta head Daryati Asrining Rini said the operator needed more time to install traffic signs and repair damaged lanes and shelters that had never been used before.

The operator also slashed the number of buses, from 45 to 20, to meet its target of a five-minute headway time, the time between consecutive buses stopping at a given shelter.

Rini admitted her office was still failing consistently to meet the target of 12,000 passengers per day.

As of March 3, more than 104,000 people travelled the route. Daily passenger numbers vary from 3,790 on the day it was launched, to 11,415.

Rini said her office would be more amenable to improvements in a bid to jack up the passengers numbers.

Since its launch in 2004, the Transjakarta management has faced many problems due to its abysmal services and facilities.

Facilities such as bus shelters and lane separators built along the routes are in poor condition.

Tarmizi also urged Transjakarta to improve the bus shelters.

“Some shelter doors, like those at Simprug, are broken. They just can’t open, so the officials have to force them open manually,” he said.

He also complained about traffic snarls that slowed down the headway times.

“Many motorists use the busway lanes. The buses usually run smoothly if traffic cops are there to stop motorists from using the lanes,” he said.

Riza Hasyim, an official with the city’s transportation agency, said his office would consider setting up portals across the lanes, like those in Kwitang, Central Jakarta.

“We’ll mull the possibility *of using portals* to ease the gridlock, since the areas along corridor 8 have long been known for their chronic traffic jams,” he said.

“But so far, we’ve been deploying our officers to manage the traffic and help the buses run smoothly.”

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TransJakarta Passengers Demand More Buses For Corridor 8

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