Transjakarta has finally changed its institutional status from a government agency to a city-owned enterprise, or BUMD (for its acronym in Bahasa Indonesian). The shift in management follows ITDP Indonesia’s longstanding recommendation to the Jakarta city government, and is intended to increase the performance of the Transjakarta BRT. The transfer of responsibility to BUMD will improve Transjakarta’s management, allowing the organization to be more flexible in managing its funding, recruiting staff, and investing in infrastructure improvements. Previously, these activities were restricted by government regulations, limiting the system’s potential to grow and improve.
Transjakarta is the only full-scale BRT in Indonesia. First opened in 2004, it has since expanded several times, most recently adding line 12 in February 2013, and grown to become the largest, most extensive BRT network in the world with 889 buses carrying more than 370,000 passengers daily. All lines are rated basic, bronze or silver by the BRT Standard, and services continue to improve.
The success of creating BUMD is the result of a 3 year consultation process between the City Government and the City Council. ITDP was a key player in this process from the beginning, including drafting the white paper for the regulation, assisting with the legal review of the draft regulation, creating the business plan and investment plan for Transjakarta, and participating in an expert panel during the consultation process with the council.
The move into BUMD has many benefits. The newfound freedom will allow Transjakarta greater flexibility to recruit the best candidates for CEO, the Board of Directors, as well as top experts and professionals. By building a team drawn from experts in other local rail and mass transit systems, Transjakarta hopes to find innovative ways to improve intermodal connections. Transjakarta was previously managed by a sub-unit under the auspices of the Jakarta Transportation Agency. The shift will allow Transjakarta to manage its budget more effectively, and opens up new options for fare restructuring.
The transition process is just getting started with the selection process of CEO and Commissioner, and is expected to continue through the first half of 2014. Through this process and the resulting institutional changes, residents of Jakarta will begin to see many improvements to the system and a vibrant new era for Transjakarta.