Monday, August 15, 2011

Why Transjakarta doesn’t work

I still remember when I rode TransJakarta (people call it as busway) for the first time 4 yours ago. I was impressed with it. It was clean, nice, quick, on-time, and almost the same with the public bus in Singapore. At that time, I thought this kind of transportation will be a solution to the Jakarta’s massive road traffic jam.

But that was four years ago. Early this year, I was shock knowing the TransJakarta buses are no longer clean, quick and on-time. It seems like the company does not really take care of facilities of the TransJakarta. You can find damaged equipments or worn-out and poor facilities in almost all of its terminals. For example, if you go to the TransJakarta terminal in Slipi, you will find it so dirty. You must be very careful to step the bridge, because I myself found a big hole at one of the entrances to the bridge. It’s damn scary. Another story I read in newspaper that a woman was sexually abused inside of the bus. She can’t even see the guy who pinched her back and breast, because it’s so packed. 

Another thing that worsens the TransJakarta is that they don’t have enough busses to operate. That’s why people are queuing too long to ride it. It once happened to me. I had to wait for more than 45 minute before I had to go inside of an extremely packed bus. It’s simply like sardines in a can. I couldn’t even see my toe. The AC was not cooling and that produced bad-odors all over the bus.

During busy times, like at 7 to 8am, lunch time and 5 to 7pm, road users are using the TransJakarta’s bus lane. People no longer care whether they bend the rule or not. During these hectic-traffic times, they take any parts of the road, any spaces as long as they can move their cars or motorbikes, including taking over the busway. Otherwise they will stuck on the road too long. As a result, the TransJakarta busses are stuck as well, because its lanes are packed with private vehicles.  

Four years ago, I thought people will gradually leave their private vehicles and move to using TransJakarta. But I think today it won’t happen since the condition of the public transportation remain like what we are experiencing nowadays.

To me, I don’t want to waste my time boarding with Transjakarta. The public transportation must be convenient if not comfortable, quick, easy to access, efficient, no traffic, cheap and no need to line up too long to get it. As long as the government and operator of the Transjakarta cannot make these happen, people will always ride their private cars and you will find traffic jams everywhere, forever!