Blue Bird cab drivers line up for a free rapid testing for coronavirus outside the Transportation Ministry headquarters in Central Jakarta back in April. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Gov't Eases Cap on Public Transportation Capacity

BY :DIANA MARISKA, THRESA SANDRA DESFIKA

JUNE 10, 2020

Jakarta. The Transportation Ministry now allows buses, trains, airlines and other public transportation to carry passengers up to 70 percent of their capacity – up from 50 percent earlier – as the government plows ahead with its plan to reopen the economy despite spikes in the number of new Covid-19 cases.

Luhut Pandjaitan, acting as the interim transportation minister, set the 50 percent cap in April as part of government-issued travel restrictions, which only allowed people to travel on urgent business or a family emergency under a strict health protocol. 

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi – who was laid low with Covid-19 from mid-March through April – revised the rule to allow public transportation take in more passengers.

He said the rule change was necessary since reopening the economy means public transportation needs to operate at near full capacity to bring people back to work. 

The minister said the Covid-19 health protocol will have to be followed in all public transportation. 

"We want to provide people with affordable means of transportation while keeping them safe from Covid-19, as the president has instructed," Budi Karya said.

The new regulation also allows ojek, or scooter taxis, back on the streets to carry passengers. Under the large-scale social restriction (PSBB), in place in many urban centers throughout April and May, ojek was only allowed to deliver food or packages.

For airlines, arrow- and wide-body jets are now allowed to fill 70 percent of their seats. There is no cap for smaller airplanes the ministry said. 

Slot times at airports will be determined after an evaluation by the Transportation Ministry.

Penalties for transportation operators who violate the new rule include written warning, license suspension or revocation and an administrative fine.

The Transportation Minister, the Indonesian Military (TNI) commander, the National Police chief, governors, district heads, central and regional Task Forces, the Transportation Ministry's technical executive unit and transportation operators will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the new rule. 

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