M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Jakarta Transportation Council (DTKJ) deputy chairman Berman Limbong revealed a number of obstacles in expanding Transjakarta services to the capital's buffer cities in order to facilitate the mobility of Jakarta workers residing in the city's outskirts.
"We must be honest to say that the territorial ego is high. The public needs it, but the government doesn't necessarily want it," said Berman on Thursday, December 30.
Berman said an example, in Jatibening of Bekasi, the council had conducted a trial run of the expansion of Transjakarta routes and made reports to the local districts and sub-districts. However, the local government implied a stance that it did not support the request.
"It seems that they are actually siding with on-the-go motorcycle taxis or locally known as ojek pangkalan and thugs from mass organizations there. So in the end, we pulled back (the Transjakarta fleet)," Berman argued.
Apart from being constrained by permits from the local government, he said the integrated service of Jaklingko (public minivan) program encountered problems in increasing the number of its fleet amid the COVID-19 pandemic as operators had difficulty finding parties willing to provide the financing.
"Albeit good current [Transjakarta] routes, no one is willing to provide financing for the rejuvenation of regular public transportation except those with high-interest rates," said Berman.