September 18, 2013

Transjakarta may become a city enterprise

Corry Elyda, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Jakarta | Tue, September 17 2013


The Jakarta administration and the City Council are altering the Transjakarta Management Body (BLU) into a city enterprise (BUMD) in order to improve services to public transportation.

Council deputy speaker Triwisaksana said on Monday that the councillors were currently deliberating the bylaw draft on the new city enterprise recently submitted by the administration.

“Tranjakarta as a public transportation entity has many flaws and all the flaws are caused by the unprofessional behavior of the officials.”

Transjakarta buses — one of essential public transport modes in the city — are suffering from declining service qualities. Classic problems like ill-maintained buses, unreliable schedules and the unenforced lane rules are still lingering in the daily service and have been for years.

The number of Transjakarta passengers also significantly declined by 25 percent from 400,000 people in 2012 to 300,000 this year.

Triwisaksana said that altering Transjakarta into a city-owned firm would enable the company to hire professionals outside the city administration and the fund management would also be more flexible.

He said as a BUMD, Transjakarta would not only think about revenue.

“The company would not have to pick between looking for revenue and maintaining public service. The tariff, however, will still be determined by the city administration and should be approved by the Council,” he said.

He added that the passengers could still get subsidy through public service obligation (PSO) scheme like the one done by state-owned train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI).

Triwisaksana said the council was also considering the additional role of the new BUMD.

“We are considering whether Transjakarta will be intended for its buses only or it can also manage the minibuses that the city administration has planned to procure,” he said.

At least 400 minibuses will come by the end of the year while 3,000 more will be procured next year.

The city administration has planned to acquire nearly bankrupt state-owned bus company Perum PPD to be altered into city-owned firm to manage the new minibuses.

However, the administration has had to delay the plan as the Finance Ministry has not finished examining the company.

Triwisaksana said the city council would try to finish the bylaw draft by the end of this year, hoping that the Transportation Agency would also cooperate with the process.

“If the bylaw is not finished by the end of this year, the operation of the minibuses will be halted,” he said, adding that the administration must not rely on the acquisition of Perum PPD.

Echoing Triwisaksana’s comment, Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said that changing the BLU Transjakarta into a city-owned company was important.

Ahok said he had received a study result from the Australian government agency AusAID and the Institute Transportation Development Policy (ITDP) — a Jakarta administration consultant team for transportation — that BLU Transjakarta needed to be upgraded into a city enterprise, so it could hire professional from outside the bureaucracy.

“We can possibly recruit people who have lots of experiences in transportation like professionals from taxi companies, for example,” he said.

Ahok said although the administration still expected to acquire Perum PPD, it prepared Transjakarta to be also able to manage the minibuses.


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