The Difference In Public Bus Transportation Cultural Studies Essay

between

Jakarta and Singapore

Abstract

Public bus transportation has became very important for every country since 80s. It is not only to help transport people easily and cheaply, but it also help to control the volume of traffic especially in crowded places like Jakarta and Singapore. Every country has their own system and service for their public bus transportation that may not the same one another. For example, Singapore and Jakarta , they have their own system for public bus transportation. This paper will introduce type of bus transportation system use, type of service that the bus companies provide, and the quality care of the bus service in Jakarta and Singapore. There will be a comparison between Jakarta and Singapore in their bus system, service that they provide, and also their regulation about bus transportation. Finally , the paper will give some suggestion to help Indonesian government on ways to improve the quality of public bus transportation in Jakarta.

Keyword : bus, transportation, system.

Table of Content

Introduction

Background .............................................................................................. 5

How many people use buses everyday in Jakarta and Singapore... 5

Research purpose and scope .................................................................... 6

Bus

Bus company ............................................................................................ 6

Jakarta ............................................................................................. 6

Singapore ......................................................................................... 7

Type of bus

Jakarta ............................................................................................. 7-8

Articulated bus ........................................................................ 7-8

Wheelchair accessible bus ...................................................... 8

Singapore ......................................................................................... 8

Articulated bus ......................................................................... 8

Double Decker bus ................................................................... 9

Wheelchair accessible .............................................................. 9

Bus Engine and the mechanical problem

Jakarta ............................................................................................. 9

Singapore ........................................................................................ 10

Bus facilities

Jakarta ..........................................................................................10

Singapore ......................................................................................11

Bus stop

Bus stop/station facilities

Jakarta ...................................................................................... 11

Singapore ................................................................................. 12

Bus operation hour

Jakarta ............................................................................................. 12

Singapore ........................................................................................ 12

Day/Regular ............................................................................. 13

Night ........................................................................................ 13

Ticketing fares system

Jakarta .............................................................................................. 13

Fares .......................................................................................... 13

Singapore ......................................................................................... 14

Fares ......................................................................................... 14

Suggestion to Indonesian government ...................................................... 15-16

Conclusion

Summary ................................................................................................... 16-18

Limitation of my research

The reason ....................................................................................... 18

Suggestion for further research ................................................................. 18-19

References ......................................................................................................... 20-26

Introduction

Background

How many people use buses everyday in Jakarta and Singapore

Year

Singapore

Jakarta

Population

Bus Ridership

Population

Bus Ridership

SMRT

SBS Transit

Transjakarta

2011

5,183,700

825,819

2,501,030

9,729,500

318,803

2012

5,312,400

928,708

2,579,450

10,183,498

305,510

In this era, public transportation such as bus is really important in every country to cut the number of traffic jam and help people transport easily. Table 1.1 below shows ridership figure for Singapore and Jakarta according to their population.

Table 1.1 The number of bus ridership and population in Singapore and Jakarta ( Transjakarta, 2011,2012; Smrt, 2013; SBS Transit, 2013).

Along with the increasing population in Jakarta and Singapore, the number of daily bus ridership is different. In Jakarta, the number of daily bus ridersip in Transjakarta is decreasing from 318,000 people in 2011 to 305,000 people in 2012. While in Singapore, the number of daily bus ridership increasing from 3,3 millions people in 2011 to 3,4 millions in 2012.

The decrease of ridership in Jakarta is due to the service and system of bus transportation that Jakarta have which make the ridership become unsatisfied (Sutaryo, 2011; Syailendra, 2012). However, the increasing in Singapore may be due to good system and services that Singapore has. Therefore, it is worthy to learn from Singapore bus system and services in order to improve Jakarta bus system and services.

Research purpose and scope

The succesful of the public bus transportation depend on the trasnportation system in each country. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to give some suggestions to Indonesian government on ways to improve bus transportation in Jakarta by comparing it to Singapore bus system.

To be specific, I have some research scopes that help me focus on the main idea and supporting information of my research purpose:

What is the quality of the bus and bus service in Jakarta and Singapore?

What is the frequency of buses in Jakarta and Singapore?

What is the ticketing system for bus in Jakarta and Singapore?

Bus

Bus company

Jakarta

In Jakarta, there are 3 bus companies: Kopaja, Damri and Transjakarta. Damri and Kopaja are old bus companies in Jakarta (Wiharsanto, 2011;Saputra, 2012). Eventhough Transjakarta is the newest bus company, it seems to be the leader of bus transportation in Jakarta, since they have the largest fleet around 524 bus fleets. Table 1.2 below illustrate these information.

Name

Year of establish

Service

Bus’s age

Owner

Damri

1945

Jakarta city to airport

Inter-cities services

-

Indonesian Government

Kopaja

1971

Around Jakarta.

Old bus, more than half of the fleet are more than 20 years old.

Kopaja Organization

Transjakarta

2004

Around Jakarta

Around 5 years old.

Badan Layanan Umum (BLU) Transjakarta busway.

Table 1.2 General information of bus company in Jakarta ( Damri 2013; Transjakarta, 2013; ).

Singapore

According to Land Transport Authority [LTA] (2013), there are 2 main bus companies in Singapore: SBS Transit and SMRT. SBS Transit is the main biggest bus company in Singapore that owns 75% of the schedule bus in Singapore (SBS Transit, n.d.). While SMRT only owns one-quarter of the schedule bus in Singapore and most of the smrt buses operate in north of singapore such as woodlands, yishun, and sembawang (SMRT, 2013).

Type of the buses

Jakarta

Articulated bus

Articulated bus is a long bus which can accommodate twice passenger of regular bus. In 2012 to 2013, articulated bus will be Transjakarta’s main fleet. The changes from normal bus that can hold 85 passengers to articulated bus that can hold up to 160 passengers was expected to overcome the crowded ("Transjakarta buses", 2013). Tambun, L. T. and Purnamasari, M. D. (2013) stated that Jokowi, the governor of Jakarta, will launch 102 new articulated buses, in which 66 of the bus are deployed on route 1 and 36 of the bus are deployed on route XII. In other words, until today, articulated bus only available in certain route.

Wheelchair accessible bus

According to Puti Noviyanda, Tempo (2011), Transjakarta becomes the first option for people with disabilities to travel because Transjakarta provides special seat with written and spoken information of the next destination. Besides, Transjakarta officer will also help them to get in and getout from the bus. Unfortunately, Jaka, a member of disability organization, said that those facilities and services don’t work effectively today.

Singapore

Articulated bus

In Singapore, the number of articulated bus is small and not every bus company use this bus . Only SMRT use articulated bus although the fleet size is small. According to SBS Transit (n.d.), they do not use articulate bus anymore due to the difficulties in manuvering and the fact that it requires more road space. There is an argument on sgforums (2012) that said articulated buses or known as ‘Bendies Bus’ is not efficient for passenger becuase it does not provide many seats. In other words, it means that articulated buses are not efficient or effective on the road or for passengers. Therefore, the number of articulated bus has not increase since.

Double decker bus

Double decker bus is a two storey bus or bus with double decks. According to discussion on sgforums (2012), this kind of bus provides more seats than the regular one decker bus, which means this bus is more efficient than articulated bus. However, in Singapore, only SBS Transit uses double decker bus as their fleet.

Wheelchairs accessible bus

Singapore government always try to improve and increase the number of wheelchairs accessible bus. Nowadays, SBS Transit & SMRT provide buses with wheelchairs accesible (WBA) service that help people with disabilities to access bus easily. According to SBS Transit & SMRT (2012), there are more than 165 WBA service available in Singapore, in which SBS Transit has 139 WBA services and SMRT has 27 WBA services.

Bus engine and the mechanical problem

Jakarta

Based on the information from Vivanews, Indonesian online newspaper, it is stated that the quality of bus engine in Jakarta is not good. In fact, it does not maintained well and this can cause short circuit in the bus engine which is dangerous. Jokowi stated that Transjakarta still use old buses, some of them were more than 7 years. This kind of buses may have many problems in the engine. Moreover, the company regulation said that the bus may be used for more than 20 years.

In Jakarta, there are many accidents happened because of the bus engine and mechanical problem, such as bus engine break down and bus on fire. The number of this kind of accident is really high. On January 2012, it is recorded 74 buses engine break down happened in Jakarta (Afrianti & Aquina, 2012). On November 30th, 2012 , a Tranjakarta bus was recorded on fire in the road (Sholeh, 2012). On October 20th, 2011 , a Transjakarta bus exploded in pinang ranti shelther (Pawas, 2011). These show that the bus safety in Jakarta is very low.

Singapore

The condition of bus engine in Singapore is classified as good condition ("Result of 6 months", 2012). The government and the bus company always keep good maintenance on the bus, as a result the bus engine and the number of broken down bus is very low. However, according to information posted in a local forum called sgtrains, there are still some bus engine break down happened in Singapore. It is recorded that there were at least 25 bus engine break down from September 2012 until January 2013, but this number is pretty small compared to Jakarta.

Bus facilities

Jakarta

People always measure the quality of service and how good the bus company is from the facilities they provide. Buses in Jakarta especially Transjakarta provide facilities mostly for woman. For example, Transjakarta reserved front side of the bus only for woman, the man have to go to the back of the bus unless there is a special condition such as no women aboard that bus (Afifah, 2011). Besides, Transjakarta also provide an announcement to tell the next destination to the passenger ("Pemisahan penumpang", 2011). Unfortunately, in some buses, these do not work properly. Lastly, the air-conditioner inside the bus is not really working that it need to be repaired.

Singapore

Most of buses in Singapore provide facilities for wheelchair or disability people, children, and pregnant women. For example, according to SMRT (n.d.), wheelchair accessible bus have ramp that help wheelchair people come inside and outside the bus. The bus also provide reserved seat for parents and children, pregnant women, and the elderly eventhough the reserved seat only a few in each bus (SMRT, 2013). For double decker bus, it has display indicator to show remaining seat available at the second deck.

Bus station / stop

Bus stop facilities

Jakarta

Jakarta started to improve facilities inside the bus and also the bus station or shelter. Today, the bus shelter in Jakarta provide many facilities, such as free wifi hotspot, vending machine, and free water to drink ("Hore...Halte", 2008; "Wireless internet", 2012). All these facilities were built in order to help people feel more comfortable while waiting for the bus. Nevertheless, some bus station do not provide these facilities because of the bad maintaince from the company. Consequently, a lot of complaints were sent to the officer.

Singapore

Singapore government does not really provide many facilities in bus stations. They only provide bus-arrival panel in certain bus stops like bus stop in Plaza Singapore, Bugis MRT station, and Chinatown NEL station ("Commuter find," 2008). They do not have as much facilities as Indonesia because it is not really neccesary in Singapore. For example, the Singapore bus station doesn’t provide free wifi because almost every people in Singapore already have internet in their smartphone. Singapore bus company always maintain the facilities well, so people always satisfied with it.

Bus operation hour

Jakarta

Transjakarta only have 1 bus schedule which is begin from 05.00 am until 23.00 pm. However, the operation hour can be extended if there are still some passengers at bus shelter or bus station ("Jam operasional", 2011). Until today, there are no night buses due to the lack of fleet or buses, but Joko Widodo said that in September 2013 the bus will work 24 hours a day.

For regular or day schedule, there are approximately 524 buses for 12 corridors in Jakarta. According to BLU (Transjakarta), the frequency of buses or the waiting time for the bus is 5 – 15 minutes and more than 15 minutes in peak hour. In some cases, the passenger need to wait even more than an hour because of the overcrowded passengers (Asih, 2011; Pusa, 2013).

Singapore

There are 2 type of bus schedule in Singapore, the normal or regular schedule and night schedule or known as night rider or night owl. This night schedule only begin after the normal schedule finished.

Day/Regular

According to SBS Transit and SMRT (2013), the regular bus in Singapore begin to operate around 5.30 am and stop at around 23.30 pm – 00.30 am. Between these hours, they have different frequency of buses coming depends on the directions, service numbers, and periods. For instance, bus number 5 has 2 directions connected from Pasir Ris interchange to Bukit Merah interchange and the opposite direction. The bus frequencies for the first direction are different from the second direction. The frequency for the first direction is about 5 - 20 minutes depends on the time. For the second direction is about 7 – 25 minutes.

Night

For SBS Transit, the ‘night owl’ begin to operate from 00.00 am to 02.00 am (SBS Transit, 2013). For SMRT, the ‘night rider’ begin to operate at 23.30 pm to 04.30 am (SMRT, 2013). Both SBS Transit and SMRT has less number of night buses than normal buses. For the night service, it only has 13 bus services with longer frequency of the buses.

Ticketing fares system

Jakarta

Fares

For the bus fare in Transjakarta, there is only one fare for the bus. The fare is affordable, only 3,500 IDR (Yudisthira, 2013). No matter how far is your journey and how many buses you change, it costs the same. This could happen because Indonesian government give subsidy to the people, so everyone can afford to buy the ticket.

Singapore

Fares

In Singapore, the fares are depends on how far your journey is, the method of payment you use, type of e-card you use, your age, and also type of bus service you use. The major fares in Singapore is distance fares.

Distance

Child/Student

Adult

Senior citizen

Card

Cash

Card

Cash

Card

Cash

Up to 3.2km

36

55

73

110

54

90

3.3km - 4.2km

41

55

83

130

62

90

4.3km - 5.2km

46

55

93

130

69

90

5.3km - 6.2km

51

55

103

130

77

90

6.3km - 7.2km

55

75

111

150

82

120

Table 1.3 Bus fares in Singapore (Public Transport Council, 2013).

Refer to the table 1.3 above. For the distance fares, passengers need to pay different fares depend on how far they ride the bus. For example, if passengers ride the bus for 5 km, they need to pay $ 0.93 cents but if passengers ride for 6 km, they need to pay $ 1.03.

However, there are 3 other fares such as adul fares, child/student fares, and senior citizen fares. For example, if passengers ride the bus for about 3 km, adult need to pay $ 0.73 , children $ 0.36, and senior citizen $ 0.54.

Suggestion to Indonesian government

Based on the facts above, there are sufficient evidences to show that public bus transportation in Jakarta still need to be improved in order to give exceptional satisfactory service and preferable safety. There are some suggestion to Indonesian government on ways to improve public bus transportation in Jakarta.

Firstly, Indonesian goverment should encourage the bus company to have double decker bus rather than articulated bus. Since, double decker bus is more safety since it is easier to drive, provide more seats, and does not require many space. These can be seen at the table 1.4 below.

Type of the bus

Advantages

Disadvantages

Articulated bus

Can accommodate more passenger.

Do not provide more seats.

Require a lot of space.

Hard to drive or manuver.

Double decker bus

Can accommodate more passenger.

Provide more seats.

Don not need a lot of space.

Easy to drive or maneuver.

Table 1.4 The difference between Articulated bus and Double decker bus ("SMRT – Why no", 2012).

Secondly, Indonesian government need to keep an eye on checking the engine monthly or even daily to maintain the good quality of the bus engine.

Thirdly, Indonesian government also need to maintain the bus facilities so it will work properly. The changes in special facilities for women from reserved the whole front side into reserved a few seat for women are also really helpful. Thus, the bus can carry more people since the man can use the front side of the bus.

Fourthly, Indonesian government need to maintain and take care of the facilities in the bus stop rather than adding more and more facilities, but never kept good maintenance on it.

Fifthly, Indonesian government should suggest the bus company to add more buses into their fleet to increase the bus frequency, especially in the peak hour. Then, Indonesian government also need to make a longer shelter, so more buses can stopped to alight the passenger at the same time.

Lastly, Indonesian government need to change the fares system in Jakarta by dividing the fares into certain groups, such as adult fares, child/school student fares, and also senior citizen fares. Thus, it can become a fair fares system.

Conclusion

Summary

Indonesian public transportation especially bus, should learn more from Singapore. Since Singapore is a modern and fast development country, indeed it has a better bus system than Indonesia. A brief noticeable comparison between Indonesia and Singapore is that the number of daily bus ridership in Indonesia decreased lately, while in Singapore, they were increasing.

Introducing about the bus company, Indonesia has 3 bus companies, which were Kopaja, Damri, and Transjakarta. While Singapore has only 2 bus companies, SBS Transit and SMRT. Not only differ from the number of bus companies, but also the type of bus that are used in Indonesia and Singapore. Indonesia provides articulated bus and wheelchair accessible bus. However, Singapore provides articulated bus, double decker bus, and wheelchair accesible bus (WAB).

The quality of bus engine in Singapore is maintained well than in Indonesia, knowing that Indonesia still keep old buses to be used and even the engine never been checked in routine. As a result, many accidents caused by the broken engine happened. Indonesia also never keep good maintain of the bus quality and other facilities, including the facilities provided inside the bus and in the bus stop. However, Singapore always keep good maintain of the bus quality and the facilities in the bus stop, so there are no serious problem about it and passengers are satisfied.

Indeed, bus has an operation hour. Singapore has enough regular and night bus fleet to satisfy the bus ridership. On the other hand, bus transportation in Indonesia still do not have night bus due to the lack of bus fleet.

The ticketing system in Indonesia and Singapore are similar, both of them use cash and card. What differ is that, in Singapore, they already used a variety ticketing system. This means that the fares are differed by age of the bus ridership. While in Indonesia, it costs the same.

Seeing the comparison between Indonesia and Singapore bus system, there are a lot of things that need to be done to improve the public bus transportation in Indonesia. In sum, Indonesian government should take care of the public bus transportation inside and outside the bus, including the facilities inside the bus, the bus station, and also the bus engine. In addition, Indonesian government also need to change the ticketing system to a fair ticketing system. Therefore, public bus transportation in Indonesia will be more improved.

Limitation of my research

The reason

There are several limitaion in my research. Firstly, I did not do any research on the quality of bus driver, bus driver salary, bus safety, and sexual harrasment that happened in Jakarta due to the lack of information about it and limited words. Secondly, I could not present Einsten evidence in my research because there are no scholars or researchers that stated about public transportation in Jakarta. Thirdly, I did not talk about type of bus system used in Indonesia because it does not relevant with my research purpose. Lastly, I did not state anything about the other two bus company in Indonsia because there are not enough information about it.

Suggestion for further research

For further research, I suggest that we also need to look more specific area in the quality of bus driver, bus driver salary, bus safety, and sexual harrasment happened inside the bus. Therefore, the research can present more sufficient information about public transportation to give better suggestion in improving the bus as a public transportation. Finally, I personally think that we need to do first-hand research which means finding the information by ourselves. By doing this, we can provide more adequate information.