Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has deployed 50 free bus services for Commuter Line passengers who live in the satellite cities of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi, in a bid to reduce crowding on trains and stations as offices, shops and public facilities reopened in the capital on Monday.
As the city administration starts easing the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, large numbers of residents in Jakarta and surrounding areas have begun flocking to the commuter train service again, creating long queues and packing train stations.
The city has deployed 20 free buses at Cilebut Station and Bojonggede Station in Bogor regency, West Java, to transport passengers to five Commuter Line stations downtown: Juanda, Tanah Abang, Sudirman, Tebet and Manggarai.
"At the moment, [the free bus service] is only available on Mondays. But we are trying to make them available on the other days as well to reduce passenger volume at the stations," said Ade Yana, the head of the Bogor regency transportation agency, adding that each bus could carry only 13 passengers due to the physical distancing rules.
Yuli, a commuter from Bojonggede district, said that the free bus service had helped her avoid the long queues at stations and the crowds aboard trains, especially during rush hour.
"We can't [practice] physical distancing and it's uncomfortable. Here [on the bus], it's more relaxed and comfortable, and we can maintain physical distancing," she said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
The free buses serve routes from the satellite cities to the five designated downtown stations on Mondays and serves the return route from the stations to the satellite cities on Friday evenings.
The Bekasi city administration is also planning to provide a free bus service for daily commuters to and from Jakarta, in light of the surge in Commuter Line passengers.
Deputy Mayor Tri Adhianto said that Bekasi would provide at least 100 buses to serve commuters. "We can deploy them whenever necessary," he said. (asp)