Yesterday I was surprise to read that Trans Jakarta or commonly known as Busway has been operating for 7 years since 15 January 2004. Wow, that's quiet a long time... Even is a bit late, I still want to wish Happy Birthday to Trans Jakarta
It feels only recently when the government announcing that they would operate another public transportation (busway) and there goes protest (well, at least that was I remember from the people) such as on many trees in the middle of Sudirman street that being cut down. Not to mention traffic jam when they started to built the road for busway. Could not really imagine if those public transportation really operating. And as usual, we could protesting grumbling, screaming but the plan keeps on going. And there busway started to operate up to this 7 years of service.
My first experience using busway was giving me impression that this public transportation may have better equipment or treatment but when it comes about being comfortable..., ehm... Well, I would say zero difference with those regular buses.
During rush hour, there hardly any empty public transportation and neither with busway.
If you are waiting for the regular buses on the street, you may have different choices. There are usually more than one public transportation headed to a certain destination. What makes them different to one another is the route that they take. The more expensive fare that you have to pay, the route is shorter. And with fare cheaper, well you might as well end up in a labyrinth before finally reaching your destination.
Now, with busway...well if the road for busway already sterilized from other vehicles then yes it may reach destination sooner. Obviously with special lane built in the middle of the road they could avoid traffic jam along with other vehicles. But once the road for busway being infiltrated by other vehicles (well, be honest can we really hold ourselves seeing empty road not being used?) then the busway will be trapped with other vehicles unable to move away from the traffic jam. While the long queuing already beats the queuing to watch Harry Potter's movie. Some even have to wait for hours before able getting the busway to reach their destination. And that's only the waiting duration, have no idea about how long the duration to reach their destination.
So what's the difference of busway with regular bus? Busway could also having engine problem... Or having its lane damaged so need repairment and forcing busways to use regular road. And of course they also will get stuck in the traffic jam
And about how crowded the passengers, well same thing happen with busway. Not because the driver needs money but simply because passengers can't wait any longer to be able to reach their destination. What if the waited busway will never ever going to arrive at the bus stop?
So, if I were asked what is my hope for busway after 7 years operating...hmmm, nothing fancy.
If they really meant that busway would be the only public transportation to serve the public in Jakarta then people fixed lots of things. Perhaps one day they can built bus stop for busway with shorter route not like right now... Where passengers need to walk a lot further and take our breath away when we have to run. And probably there will rest rooms and seats. Plus using AC so we would not melt away when queuing for busway...
Don't just encourage people to start using busway but do nothing with the facilities.