February 21, 2014

City hires private execs as Transjakarta directors

In a bid to improve Transjakarta services, the Jakarta administration has selected five executives from a private company and state-owned enterprises to sit on the board of directors of the newly formed, city-owned PT Transjakarta.

Jakarta Investment and Promotion Agency (BPMP) head Catur Laswanto said on Thursday that his agency had finished the selection and five names had been submitted to Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“We are now waiting for the governor to sign the appointment of these five people,” he said.

Catur declined to disclose the names, but a source close to the deal said the five were former state-owned forestry company Perum Perhutani finance director Steve Kosasih as president director, Andi Patriota Wibisono of venture capital firm PT Bahana Artha Ventura as finance director, state-owned train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) vice president for human resources Tri Kuncoro as director of general affairs and human resources, KAI operations area I Jakarta head Heru Isnadi as operational director and KAI training and education center head Wijanarko as technical director.

Catur said the five directors were professionals who had worked for major companies for years and had expertise in their fields.

He said the city administration had chosen the five out of dozens of candidates. “We received recommendations and applications,” he said, adding that the candidates had followed certain procedures before finally being selected as directors.

“We checked their backgrounds to make sure they were suitable for the positions. Then we conducted confirmation hearings,” he said.

The BPMP head said after being appointed, the directors would learn about the management of PT Transjakarta, which is still legally the Transjakarta Management Authority (BLU) under the Transportation Agency, while waiting for the legalities of setting up the firm to be finalized.

“We are processing documents at a notary public to establish the firm,” he said.

Transjakarta has faced many problems, such as a shortage of buses, lane encroachment and unreliability of services.

Transportation experts have been suggesting for years that the city change the BLU into a city-owned firm as unprofessional civil servants were deemed one of the causes of the bad bus services.

The City Council eventually passed a bylaw to turn Transjakarta into a city-owned firm in January, after 10 years of operation.

Transjakarta currently has 12 corridors connecting every municipality in Jakarta, with 889 buses transporting 360,000 passengers daily.

Jokowi said that with the new board of directors, Transjakarta would be managed more professionally. “I hope the services will be better so the subsidy can be decreased,” he said.

The governor said if managed well, the firm would not need to be subsidized but would be able maintain the current fare.

The Transjakarta bus fare has remained Rp 3,500 (30 US cents) since 2004.

Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) country director Yoga Adiwinarto said he was satisfied with the selected directors, saying that their track records were good.

Yoga said choosing Steve as the president director was also suitable. “I think Jokowi learned from two state-owned companies — KAI and national flag airline Garuda Indonesia — whose president directors had strong backgrounds in finance.

Yoga said the directors had to establish a better management for bus operations. “The hardest work involves human resources,” he said.

He added that Transjakarta had around 6,000 employees, but many of them lacked skills and the capability required for the company.


 Corry Elyda, The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Jakarta | Fri, February 21 2014, 11:20 AM


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