Monday, June 24, 2024 | 10:43 WIB

Jabodetabek public transport: An “Electric 2029”

Jakarta, IO – The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin), through its Electric Vehicle Incentive Program, has ordered 552 electric buses, at a total cost of IDR 12.3 trillion. These buses are scheduled to operate in 1,824 middle- and lower-class housing complexes in Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Bodetabek), to fulfill the needs for public transportation services in residential areas. 

Establishing an integrated mass public urban transportation system addresses transportation challenges in Jabodetabek, particularly in view of the high usage of private vehicles (motorcycles and cars). Integrated, effective, efficient, safe, comfortable, and affordable transportation services are expected to increase the popularity of mass public transportation in Jabodetabek by 60 percent before the end of 2029, as stated in the Jabodetabek Transportation Master Plan (RITJ). 

To achieve this objective, public transportation facilities must extend to 2,010 housing complexes across the Jabodetabek area, available at a fare adjusted congruent with the public’s affordability level, based on housing prices. The Jabodetabek Transportation Management Agency’s (BPTJ) short-term goal is to focus on 158 areas of middle- to upper-class housing complexes (with housing prices over IDR 2 billion). The current JRC (Jabodetabek Residence Connection) public transportation service is available at 23 high-end housing complexes (covering only 19.7 percent). 

Thirty high-end housing complexes in DKI Jakarta do not require JRC routes, considering the extensive coverage of DKI Jakarta’s public transportation network, with TransJakarta services covering 88.2 percent of the Jakarta area. A total of 117 complexes outside DKI Jakarta are covered by JRC routes (80.3 percent), thus requiring new route development. 

The unsubsidized JR Connection Bus service is priced at IDR 20,000 to IDR 25,000 per ride. JR Connection buses depart from luxury housing complexes to Jakarta’s various activity centers, from the Blok M Area up to around Monas. Many people have switched to taking JR Connection buses for their lower accumulative cost, good facilities (air-conditioned), lack of need to wait in long queues, and sufficient seating availability. 

However, there are still 2,010 housing complexes, consisting of 268 middle-class complexes (house prices ranging from IDR 1 to 2 billion) and 1,584 lower-class complexes (below IDR 1 billion), in need of public transportation. Meanwhile, in Jakarta, there are 26 middle-class complexes and 2 lower-class complexes that require easy and accessible public transportation. Altogether, there are 1,824 complexes remaining (242 middle-class complexes and 1,582 lower-class complexes) that need public transportation services. 

Djoko Setijowarno
Djoko Setijowarno, Academician of the Civil Engineering Department at Unika Soegijapranata and Deputy Chairperson for Community Empowerment and Development of the Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) Center

People’s mobility in Jabodetabek 

The BPTJ has established a “quick win” system for developing road-based public transportation routes, based on the World Bank’s sketch planning, where routes and connected transportation for the Jabodebek LRT (feeder) and Transjabodetabek are developed. A quick win in public transportation route development supports emission reduction programs and promotes the use of renewable energy, in order to attain net zero emissions by 2060. 

In the Grand Design of Jabodetabek Public Transportation Development (2024), it is estimated that there are over 75 million inter-district movements in Jabodetabek every day, with 6,583 transportation nodes operating in nine road and rail-based public transportation services. The largest trip generation is in Kelapa Gading, Cengkareng, Cakung, Tambun Selatan, Duren Sawit, Kalideres, and Tanjung Priok districts. Meanwhile, the principal tourist attractions are in Gambir, Menteng, Pademangan, Sawah Besar, Senen, Setia Budi, and Tanah Abang districts. 

Within a distance of 500 meters from a transportation node point, public transportation potentially serves 7.97 million or 25.18 percent, of the Jabodetabek population, with 7.3 million or more than 65 percent, of the DKI Jakarta population served by mass public transportation in the Jakarta area. Meanwhile, in the Bodetabek area, mass public transportation can only serve 656,000 people or less than 5 percent of the population. Improving public transportation services equals improving air quality. 

The Jabodetabek public transportation system carried a total of 2.454 million passengers per day in 2023. In Jabodetabek, TransJakarta carries 1.17 million passengers per day, followed by KRL with 952,000 passengers, MRT with 278,955 passengers, LR T Jabodebek with 29,971 passengers, LRT Jakarta with 2,749 passengers, Transjabodetabek with 1,924, JR Connection with 7,717 passengers, and Trans Pakuan Bus service in Bogor with 11,317. 

The Jabodetabek Commuter Line (KRL) consists of five corridors, totaling 231.83 kilometers and 81 stations. Furthermore, the Jakarta MRT (1 corridor, 15.60 km and 13 stations), LRT Jabodebek (2 corridors, 41.68 km and 18 stations), LRT Jakarta (1 corridor, 5.77 km and 6 stations), TransJakarta BRT (39 corridors, 1,400.51 km and 252 shelter units), TransJakarta feeder (64 corridors, 1,371.03 km, 5,872 stops), TransJabodetabek (106 corridors, 4,632.41 km, 62 stops), Jabodetabek Residence Connection/ JRC (59 corridors, 2,236.13 km and 89 stops), Jabodetabek Airport Connection/JAC (53 corridors, 2,577.21 km and 53 stops), Trans Pakuan in Bogor (4 corridors, 98.70 km and 136 stops), and the Whoosh HighSpeed Train (1 corridor, 142.30 km and 1 station). 

Enforcing policy 

In order to develop the public transportation ecosystem, particularly one dependent on energy or batteries, the government needs to strengthen policies by deeming public transportation a mandatory priority and fundamental public service. 

As a result, Law Number 23/2014 on Regional Governments requires revision, which includes transportation as a basic requirement. The change should encompass improving local public transportation regulations and allocating 5 percent of the budget to public transportation. Additionally, the Ministry of Home Affairs must include guidelines for financing mass transportation. 

By reinforcing basic public service policies, local governments will inevitably prioritize procuring vehicles and routes. Developing the infrastructure and facilities will encourage people to switch from private vehicles to mass transportation modes. 

Particularly in the Bodetabek region, the government must work across sectors with banking and housing developers. However, the government needs to subsidize public transportation as a part of its obligation. 

Apart from cross-sector collaboration, achieving a mass transportation ecosystem also requires collaboration at the ministry level, as public transportation conditions remain inadequate, due to a lack of alignment among ministries and conflicting sectoral interests. 

Instead, the Ministry of Industry develops policies aimed at private electric automobiles, when the focus should be on expanding and improving public transportation. The Ministry of Industry encourages the purchase of electric motorcycles, despite the need for public transportation. Jabodetabek already has a high number of vehicles, a declining number of public transport vehicles, and a declining productive age. 

The Ministry of Industry has a program for electric vehicle incentives, amounting to IDR 12.3 trillion. However, the program is considered unclear because it does not specify the types of vehicles. Then, the Ministry of Industry added a program by purchasing a total of 552 buses over two fiscal years (2023-2024). 

The Ministry of Industry has implemented a IDR 12.3 trillion incentive for electric vehicles, although the program is deemed ambiguous, for its lack of specified types of vehicles. The Ministry of Industry then added a program to purchase 552 buses over two fiscal years (2023– 2024). 

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Purchasing these vehicles raises questions about which cities will receive them. A lack of open communication with the Ministry of Industry complicates bus procurement. It would be preferable to operate the 552 units of electric buses ordered by the Ministry of Industry, in coordination with the Ministry of Transportation, in several middle- and lower-class housing complexes in Bodetabek. 

Indonesia is capable of manufacturing electric buses through PT Inka, whose EV products were already been utilized for the G20 meeting in Bali in November 2022. It is only appropriate for the government, through its ministries, to stimulate and purchase domestic electric buses rather than importing them. This does not mean confronting, but rather responding to the current public transportation crisis. Jakarta implements excellent public transportation, but public transportation services outside Jakarta remain poor. There must be strategic and beneficial efforts to overcome this crisis and allow people to enjoy basic public transportation services.

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