Busily Broadening Bus Options, Jakarta’s Jokowi Shows Sense, Again!



One of the problems with the Jakarta TransJakarta Busway system is the way the buses seem to seek safety in convoys, such as one day during the holidays when a pack of passengers, including me, waited an hour at Duri Kepa until no less than three buses arrived together.


blok mtermina

Blok M’s Busy Terminal


Similarly, when you reach the Blok M Terminal, thinking you’re in fine time to meet that special someone at the agreed hour, you find you can’t, because there are so many buses lined up unmoving that you need to wait another ten or more minutes before you are near enough the platform to alight.

Some kindly conductors will open the doors to let you climb down onto the roadway, but not all, concerned for their passengers’ well-being, perhaps.

Governor Jokowi should stage one of his famous ‘surprise attack’ raids and see for himself why so many vehicles loiter there, when plenty of people are waiting, eager to commence their journeys.


jokowi-twitter Jokowi


Meanwhile, however, he’s said that kopajas are to be allowed to use the busway lanes. Plenty of cars already do, risking fines but perplexed, made desperate, by the congestion on the other parts of the public highway.

So best to make a virtue of necessity.

However, not all kopajas are equal. The newly privileged ones are those ‘luxury’ versions, the Rp.5000 a go shiny ones, over twice as dear as the humbler older models, but in my limited experience, much better in terms of speed, safety and staffing. Having caught one on Jalan Simatupang last month, it took me all the way to Menteng, its ultimate goal Senen, the conductor a pleasant fellow, solicitous of the passengers’ welfare, helping ibus climb on and off with their shopping.


kopaja Old Kopaja  Rp.2000


Joko earlier announced the city is trying to replace non-AC Kopaja and Metro Mini buses that are 20 to 30 years old and falling into disrepair.

The more the better. Because the more people abandon their reluctance to use public transport, the fewer private cars will be clogging the roads.



New Kopaja, Rp.5000


At the moment, alas, there is only the one I used, the P20, and another, which runs from Ragunan to Grogol, a long route also. But that still leaves much of the capital unserved.

Joko said the move would be temporary, to see how well the two systems of mass transportation would integrate. “Later, we can see the advantages and disadvantages. Unless we try it out, we won’t know if it works or not,” he said.

What a sensible man he is. No wonder he’s just been named one of the world’s best civic leaders, after only a few months in office.

 Joko earlier announced the city is trying to replace non-AC Kopaja and Metro Mini buses that are 20 to 30 years old and falling into disrepair.

And maybe replace some of the drivers, who are infamous for their ugal-ugalan style – RECKLESS!