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Friday, October 24, 2008

Trans Jakarta/Bus Way

Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta has the most modes of transportation planned in Indonesia. The government have been planing to implement river transport like in Venesia, bus services with their own lane in the street called Busway, monorail, and subway. But at the present time, only one mode has worked: The Busway.
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What is Busway, hm… I think it is a BUS with is own WAY in the street. In Jakarta, you can see in several main streets, there are separate lane that is reserved for busway use only. That is why, the busway is relatively traffic-jam free. For several times I’ve seen some private car try to use the busway lane and they will be fined by a policeman easily. The busway lane often marked by a red box painted on the street measuring 1,5 X 2 m or the word “BUSWAY” painted on the street.
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Well, even though only busway allowed, emergency services like ambulances can use the lane, so that saves them some times.
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The busway has a specific route for every group of bus, it is called “Corridor”, I don’t know what is the reason behind it. Currently there are 9 corridors in Jakarta, and every group of bus has their own route. There are two types of corridors. The 2-way corridor, which shaped like a 2-way linear path, and a circular one, shaped like a one-way circle. Basically, if you got on a busway anywhere, you can go to every corridor, because sometimes the corridors merge at Transit points, which is a bus station with 2 or more corridors passing through.
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The best things of using busway are it is cheap, comfortable (every busway has AC), and traffic–jam free. And why I said it is cheap? because until now, the Busway use a single price policy, which is a disadvantage to some people and an advantage to other. For one ride you only have to pay 3500 Indonesian Rupiah (around 50 Singapore Cents and 30 American Cents), and if you switched corridor, it is free. So if you are going to use busway for 250m, you will be charged the same with more than 10 km (which is what I’ve been doing the most time I am using busway)
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The interior of the busway differ greatly from ordinary bus. The first thing that you’ll notice when entering busway is the air temperature. All busway are air-conditioned, mostly too much I think, when the busway is fairly empty (i.e. no person standing), you can see some people showing reactions because they are feeling a little cold, but when it is crowded, it tends to be hot, but not as hot as regular bus. It is nice to have air-conditioned bus, because there will be no open window and people are prohibited from smoking.
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Beside smoking prohibition, all passengers aren’t allowed to drink/eat, bring their pet, or littering inside the bus, while at the station, they are allowed to drink/eat but no smoking or pet. Anyone never board a busway might wonder, is it clean then? Because it is quite difficult in making people obey that kind of rule in Jakarta, besides, ordinary bus is still full of trash and cigarettes smoke, even though they have the same rule. Well actually it is very clean, because there are Mr./Mrs. Security guard there, which will watch over the passenger and giving advices.
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They are able to answer your question about how to go to various places, I found that it I very helpful since there are no map at all inside the bus, but hopefully they are going to put it after all corridors are finished. There are two trashcans in every bus; I think they also helped the cleanliness a little bit.
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According to the posted notice in the window, the maximum capacity of one bus is 88 people, there are 33 seats, varying slightly between bus manufacturers (Kia and Daewoo). The seats are quite comfortable, with notice above the seats (posted on the window) about giving your seat to the elderly, pregnant woman, and handicapped. If you are standing, you can hold to the handles that have some advertisement, in some of the bus I’ve seen biscuit and toothpaste product
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Unlike many other buses, the busway is using an automatic transmission, with buttons as the controller. There are 3 buttons Drive, Neutral and Park. Above the driver, you can see there are some panel with red LED light showing you the name of the next station, it is controlled manually by a button beside the transmission, so wherever a bus approach a station, the driver must press the button. The opening and closing of doors is done manually too by pressing certain button, usually the passengers get in / out with the right side door, but in some one way streets, the left door can be opened according to the station sides
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There are no music or TV in a busway, but there are speakers and one of the sound that come out of them is the station name upon entering one station and advices like “please check your belongings and step away carefully” in 2 languages, Indonesia and English.
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Do you remember about biscuit advertisement mentioned above, actually last month, when I get out of the bus, someone from the biscuit company offering the biscuit for free (actual price is around Rp 1500, or USD 0.20), it is quite nice actually, and some passenger is happy, but they are only giving it to the people leaving the bus, maybe to prevent eating their biscuits inside the bus. Also, when I am taking those photographs, the security said that it is not permitted to do so, even though there are no warning posted
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source: kecjud.com

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