Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announces the city's public transportation will return to normal during a press conference at City Hall on Monday. (JG Photo/Tara Marchelin)

Jakarta Returns Public Transportation to Normal After Backlash Over Reduced Services


MARCH 17, 2020

Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Monday the city's bus network TransJakarta, the Jakarta Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains and the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) underground and overground trains will operate normally again starting Tuesday.

But the city will limit queue lines inside bus and train stations, as well as the number of passengers on the buses and trains.

The reinstatement of the capital's public transportation network came after a backlash over the provincial government's decision to reduce services to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

On Monday morning, commuters were complaining of chaotic long queues at bus and train stations.

"We will normalize Jakarta's public transportation but also implement social distancing by limiting the number of passengers in every bus and train and reduce queue lines inside bus and train stations to prevent the spread of Covid-19," Anies said at City Hall on Monday.

The governor said the temporary policy is still expected to cause long queues outside bus and train stations. 

"There's less risk of transmission when queueing outside the stations. But it's still important to keep a physical distance wherever you are on the public transportation lines," Anies said. 

The head of Jakarta's transportation department, Syafrin Liputo, said the MRT would operate 16 trains from 5 a.m. to midnight with a maximum capacity of 360 passengers on each train.

Normally, one train can fit in 1,200 passengers.

"Meanwhile, the LRT will operate from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. with a maximum capacity of 60 passengers per train. One train normally carries 270 passengers," Syafrin said. 

TransJakarta buses – the city's largest public transportation network – will be available 24 hours a day but will only carry 60 passengers on each articulated bus and 30 passengers on a single bus.

Syafrin pleaded for passengers to maintain a healthy distance between each other when they queue outside bus and train stations.

"We've also got municipal police and transportation department officers who will direct passengers queuing for the bus and train," Syafrin said.

TransJakarta announced on Instagram it will reopen a total of 55 TransJakarta, Royaltrans and Microtrans routes starting Tuesday.

Incentives for Medical Personnel

Governor Anies also said the provincial government would offer incentives for medical and supporting personnel in Jakarta who have been assisting Covid-19 patients since they are most at risk of contracting the disease.

"This is a show of respect and support for medical and supporting personnel who have been closely involved in handling the Covid-19 outbreak," Anies said.

The Jakarta provincial government will give Rp 215,000 ($14) per day to these medical and supporting personnel. This is the highest rate the local government can offer according to a 2019 finance ministerial regulation and a 2016 governor regulation on standard costs.