Busway and public holiday? Definitely not a match made in heaven…
Previously I heard a promotion that we can traveling around Jakarta using busway and you only need to pay once. The promotion is not a hoax. THAT if you are the only person in Jakarta who wants to ride around the town using busway.
Two years ago my cousin from out of town visited me and my parents here in Jakarta. Since my parents both just have been released from the hospital due to their illness we hardly take him to go anywhere… So, thinking to make it fun for his staying here in Jakarta, it crossed my mind to take him ride around the town using busway. During that time my niece and my nephew were also staying with us during their school's holiday. I thought, well this would be a good chance to bring them traveling around Jakarta. And surely we would not bumping to office workers. It would be fun to take them all using busway. That was my consideration.
On the first day of Lebaran’s holiday I asked my cousin and niece and nephew to go to the nearest bus stop for busway. They were obviously excited as they have never used a busway before. However when we arrived at the bus stop I stunned to see that there were so many people there. And when we finally got on the busway, it was totally crowded with people. Not only that we have to stand all the way our journey but also we have to sneak up here and there just to find a spot to stand. Oh nooo, I was worried. Perhaps because we were late?
And when we arrived at the bus stop for transit between busways there were more passengers there… Most of them were heading to places like beaches, fun park and zoo. Yeah, it is holiday now and children were enjoying their free days. This would meant that my plan to take them to those places surely going to be ruined. Finally I decided to change the destination spot and continue our journey. We stop at the next transit bus stop. And there, crowded passengers scattered around the place. My plan totally blown away. First of all, I was a bit scare that I would get separated with my niece and nephew. Second, what's the fun of waiting the busway for ages, not to mention the heat, and risk to get stomped by other people when trying to get on the busway? Probably if there were only me and my cousin I would get on with the plan. So, at the least he would learn how is the situation when people trying to get on the bus beating the crowd.
Later I learned that yeah many Jakartan escape the city to another city or even countries during the public holiday. But that does not mean make Jakarta automatically abandon and quiet. As many people who live in another city but still near Jakarta are starting to come during the holiday. Obviously most of them have the same intention as mine to travel around Jakarta with only pay the fare once. Though for that they have to be ready to queuing for the longest time ever. Sweating all over the place. Having risk to get mug by pickpockets. Or get stomped when trying to get on the busway in the middle of crowded passengers. My intention was definitely not as strong as them.
So for you all my friends who wants to try have a go to travel around Jakarta using busway during national public holiday…good luck. All I can say, get ready for everything. As Jakarta is not going to be as empty as we think it will be. Regular buses may not being occupied by many passengers. Unfortunately not with busways.
Suck it up...