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Transjakarta | Mr Muhammad Akbar
Mr Muhammad Akbar

I hope that one day all of Indonesia’s public transport will operate in parallel under one management and one payment system, as this is my vision for the future

Mr Muhammad Akbar, President Director

Transjakarta was the first rapid bus transit system in South East Asia having begun operations in 2004. What are the current developments taking place in the company to cater to the growing need for public transport in Jakarta?

The Transjakarta network carries around 350,000 people per day which is small when compared to public transport bus networks in other cities such as Guangzhou, which carries 800,000 passengers per day. Based on the size of the city, our target is 2 million passengers per day and to achieve this we need many more buses. Currently we have 571 buses in operation and our calculations show that to maintain frequency of one bus every few minutes we need 1,200 articulated buses.

We are tackling not only the number of vehicles but also issues related to the bus lanes as in Jakarta these are often used by cars and motorcycles which slows down our buses. Slower buses make the prospect of using public transport less appealing to commuters. Fuel sources are another issue as due to government regulations, our buses are fuelled by CNG. However there are only 5 CNG gas stations in Jakarta and we would need 10-15 to cater to our existing buses to avoid queues.

As a government body, Transjakarta is run by civil servants so we are currently transforming to make ourselves more dynamic and flexible through a new structure.

What plans are in place to expand Transjakarta’s operations further in the Greater Jakarta area?

Currently we are limited to the Jakarta area and cannot enter neighbouring cities such as Bogor, however once we have transformed from a government entity to a company then we will be able to do so. In the future we want the BRT service to be not only for Jakarta but also for the surrounding suburbs as these areas are populated by people who come into Jakarta to work every day. There is increasingly high demand for public transport from people who live in these suburban areas.

A new body called OTG Transport Authority for Jabodetabek will be set up to execute this expansion plan but it requires a presidential decree to move ahead.

Transjakarta is often criticised by commuters due to the unpredictability of bus arrivals and long intervals between buses. How are you planning to tackle this problem?

We have a lot of homework to do to improve our quality of service but we are listening to input and conduct passenger surveys to get feedback. We have tried to respond to issues such as sexual harassment taking place on the network and introduced a program whereby the front of the bus is reserved just for women. To reduce waiting times we are expanding our fleet by 102 buses with a further 76 buses to be added shortly. The governor of Jakarta has made a pledge to introduce 1,000 additional buses in a short amount of time and I believe this can be achieved over the next two years.

What new technologies do you plan on implementing to improve the performance of the Transjakarta system?

The network was previously run on a purely manual system but as of 2011 50% of our buses had GPS tracking technology so we can monitor their position. We are also introducing a centralised control room so that the data will be centrally gathered and decisions on where buses need to be deployed can be made more quickly.

For payment processing we have also introduced electronic ticketing and more of our buses will soon be equipped to handle this. The electronic ticketing will also enable us to gather data on the passengers at each station.

There are many other technologies available in the market such as providing information through mobile phones that we hope to introduce in the future.

What would be your final message to Global Business Guide Indonesia's audience?

Transjakarta is growing and there are many opportunities to work together and integrate Indonesia’s public transport systems. I hope that one day all of Indonesia’s public transport will operate in parallel under one management and one payment system, as this is my vision for the future.

Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2014

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