Thursday, July 25, 2024 | 23:53 WIB

Outer islands transportation infrastructure

Jakarta, IO – Transportation infrastructure development has not only spread across the island of Java but has also expanded throughout the Indonesian archipelago, including through underdeveloped, outermost, frontier and border areas (3TP). The development in 3TP areas is expected to upgrade the economy as it provides access to regions historically isolated. 

Public transportation improvement in urban areas focuses on ameliorating the impact of traffic congestion, suppressing air pollution, enforcing safety rules and avoiding inflation. Buy The Service (BTS) is a system of purchasing road transport services from public transport operators by the Government to provide the public with workable road transport services. The BTS program is packaged as Teman Bus (Bus Buddies) to provide economical, accessible, safe, and convenient transportation. The program is organized by the Directorate General of Land Transportation and has been implemented in ten cities. Outside Java, Teman Bus is available in Palembang (Trans Musi Jaya), Medan (Trans Metro Deli), Bali (Trans Metro Dewata), Makassar (Trans Mamminasata) and Banjarmasin (Trans Banjarbakula). 

Pioneering bus transportation is operated in 32 provinces with 278 routes, covering 32,262 km and served by 514 buses. Pioneering bus transportation on national roads has evolved into commercial routes, such as the Tanjung Selor-Malinau route (North Kalimantan Province). The bus fare used to be IDR 50,000. After being commercialized, it doubled to IDR 100,000. 

Djoko Setijowarno, Academician at the Civil Engineering Program, Soegijapranata Catholic University

A number of National Border Posts (PLBN) have been erected in the border areas of Kalimantan, Papua and East Nusa Tenggara. Three pioneering bus service routes serve residents at the borders: PLBN Aruk-Sambas (West Kalimantan Province), PLBN Skow-Jayapura (Papua Province) and PLBN Sota-Merauke (South Papua Province). Cargo transport terminals were built at PLBN Entikong (Sanggau Regency, West Kalimantan Province) and PLBN Skow (Jayapura City, Papua Province). 

The Government also constructed and improved Sungai Nyamuk Port on Sebatik Island, Nunukan Regency, North Kalimantan Province. The condition of the port that borders Malaysia used to be disorganized, but now it has improved; it has become more convenient, with better passenger services. 

Previously, the condition of Sungai Nyamuk Port was chaotic. Transport service workers scrambled to find passengers, right after the ship docked. After that, passengers would have to haggle over the cost of transporting goods while passing along a narrow road. This clogged the port traffic, with a buildup of passengers on the entry and exit routes for people and goods. 

Starting in April 2023, the system was reconfigured. Not only was the physical infrastructure of the port refurbished, but the management was also improved so that Sungai Nyamuk Port could guarantee convenience for passengers and people working at the port. 

To support tourism and increase tourist visits in the National Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN), subsidies are provided for 34 KSPN transport routes in ten KSPNs, including North Sumatra (Lake Toba), West Sumatra (Bukittinggi, Lake Maninjau, Pagaruyung Palace and Carokok Beach), Bangka Belitung (Tanjung Berikat and Membalong Beach), Serang, Banten (Tanjung Lesung and Ujung Kulon), Yogyakarta and Central Java (King Imogiri’s Tomb, Parangtritis Beach, Malioboro Area, Borobudur Temple Area and Baron Beach), Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (Bangko-Bangko, Sembalun and Selong Belanak Beach), Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (Wanci), Banyuwangi, East Java (Ijen Crater and Baluran), Surabaya, East Java (Marmoyo and Wonosalam), Ponorogo, East Java (Sarangan, Ngebel, Jeruk and Gosong Market).

Meanwhile, pioneering cargo transport operates along six routes, covering 1,474 km with 38 trucks. Ports visited by Tol Laut ships need to be equipped with a pioneering cargo transportation network so that the price of goods in remote areas can be maintained reasonably low. The routes include Malahayati Port-Blang Bintang (96 km) and Malahayati Port-Blang Pidie (814 km) in Aceh Province, Lampa StraitRabai (72 km) on Natuna Island, Tunon Taka Harbor-Nunukan City (13 km) on Nunukan Island, Merauke Port-Boven Digoel (429 km) and Pomako Port-Timika City (50 km) in South Papua Province. 

Lake transportation on Lake Toba is suitable as a model for managing lake transportation in other regions in Indonesia. Lake Toba ferry transportation management has followed the regulations. Around 20 ferry ports in the Lake Toba area are under the management and supervision of the Head of Lake Toba Harbormaster and Ferry Port Operations (KSOPP). Tourists are concentrated not only in Parapat City but also spread out to Balige City and Samosir Island. Of the 13 ferry ports, seven have been inaugurated (Ajibata, Simanondo, Tigaras, Muara, Marbun Toruan, Tonggin and Balige), and six are under construction (Ambarita, Sipinggan, Porsea, Silalahi, Onan Rungu and Sigapiton). 

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Asmat Regency, included in 3TP regions, has Agats Sea Port and Ewer Airport, which increased the number of visits by ships and airplanes. Three ships owned by the national cargo and passenger shipping company PT Pelni visit Agats Port: MV Tatamialau, MV Sirimau and MV Leuser, serving the Pomako Port (Timika), Agats Port-Merauke Port routes. Traditional ports for local travelers are still operational. Meanwhile, low-cost airline Lion Air operates commercial flights from Timika-Ewer-Merauke. So far, these pioneering flights have served Mopah Airport (Merauke)-Ewer Airport (Asmat Regency) and Moses Kilangin Airport (Mimika Regency)-Ewer Airport (Asmat Regency). 

Likewise, Letung Airport has also been constructed on Jemaja Island (Anambas Islands Regency in Riau Islands Province). This border area is known not only as an oil and gas producer but also for its majestic nature and marine tourism. 

Airports and seaports in the 3TP areas are able to boost the economic growth and prosperity of the local community and provide access, no longer isolated from surrounding areas.