The city administration is considering implementing a new system of management for Transjakarta busways in order to improve services, an official has said.
The administration, with support from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), has hired consultants to conduct a study to determine the best model of management for Transjakarta, deputy governor for transportation issues, Sutanto Soehodo, said.
“We expect to find the best system for the financing, tariff, ticketing, and the whole model of management so Transjakarta can provide better services to the public,” Sutanto told The Jakarta Post in a recent interview.
He acknowledged Transjakarta had not been able to keep up with the ever increasing number of passengers. “Through this study, we aim to find flaws in the service.”
According to Sutanto, among the issues to be investigated by the study is the subsidy given to Transjakarta, which is a financial burden on the city.
The administration subsidized Rp 320 billion (US$31.5 million) of Transjakarta’s Rp 600 billion total operational costs for 2009.
The lion’s share of the subsidy, nearly 75 percent, went towards maintenance and overhead costs, capital expenditure and the payment of salaries for Transjakarta employees.
Sutanto explained that Rp 1,500 of each Rp 3,500 bus ticket comes from the subsidy.
“We still have to disburse the subsidy because we want to provide people with affordable transportation that is more comfortable than the other public buses.”
He said the administration was considering gradually stopping the subsidy and entrusting the management of Transjakarta to private companies. “But we do not yet know exactly what the most suitable system will be.”
Transjakarta is touted as the best public transportation available in the city. However, long waits and overcrowding are the subject of common complaints.
Despite the inadequate services, Transjakarta is in high demand, with the number of passengers increasing on a daily basis according to ITDP consultant Harya Setyaka.
According ITDP data, 250,000 people rode Transjakarta buses every day last month, an average increase of 3,000 per day from the previous month.
“There is still room for improvement, as long as the administration and the operator is committed to fulfilling the minimum level of services,” Harya said. “The administration should focus on making operational costs more efficient without neglecting the level of service.”
He said that entrusting the management of Transjakarta to private parties did not guarantee quality service.
Transjakarta is currently managed by BLU Transjakarta, a public concern.
“Managing Transjakarta through a regionally-owned enterprise (BUMD) might work better than the BLU. A BUMD is more flexible in terms of budgeting, because it has its own budget, separate from the city budget.”
The study, according to Harya, will comprise of two parts: a business plan and a draft on the minimum level of service (LOS).
The business study will be conducted by Ernst and Young, while the LOS study will be conducted by Inresh and Logit.
Harya said the results of the LOS study will be used to form a draft gubernatorial regulation.
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City Seeks New Management Model for Transjakarta