Jakarta. Commuters at many train stations in the greater Jakarta area had to return to the paper tickets era on Monday (23/07), as a system update made electronic ticketing go awry.
Electronic tickets were introduced seven years ago and passengers already got used to them. Suddenly, they had to switch to paper passes and queue to buy them.
According to announcements at Depok Station, commuter train operator Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) had to temporarily return to paper tickets to perform maintenance procedures on the system and ticketing machines.
Eni, a KRL passenger, admitted to feeling resentment, as with today's technological advancement the authorities should be able to perform maintenance at hours when the line is not operational.
"The commuter line owners aren't acting professionally and are sacrificing the passengers who want to board the trains quickly," he said.
Another passenger, Ronny, also expressed his disappointment.
"We've already go used to electronic tickets that prevent long queues, but now it's like we're suddenly back to ancient times," he said.
KCI corporate communications vice president Eva Chairunisa said the maintenance procedures started on Saturday, but seem to be taking more time than what the company expected.
"In order to ease mobility on Monday, ticket transactions using paper tickets have been implemented on 79 commuter line stations. ... KCI apologizes for any inconvenience. Now all officers have been deployed to support the system update to help commuters," she said in a statement on Monday.
KCI sold 315 million tickets last year, 160 percent more than in 2010, as it upgraded its trains, stations and implemented electronic ticketing. The company projects to sell 320 million tickets this year.
Since the past 10 years, Indonesia has been upgrading its public transportation to catch up with other big cities in the region by expanding special bus lanes and building mass rapid and light rail transport lines. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo wants to see the latter to be operational before the Asian Games next month to showcase the country's development.