TransJakarta commuters are wondering why they should pay more for the same service following an unpopular proposal to hike the city bus fare during rush hour.
Yesterday, the bus company put out a tweet announcing a proposal by the Jakarta City Transportation Council (DTKJ) to raise the bus fare to between IDR4,000 (US$0.27) and IDR5,000 (US$0.34) during two rush hour periods, namely from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 9pm, on weekdays.
TransJakarta currently imposes a flat fare of IDR3,500 (US$0.24) for a single ride and IDR2,000 (US$0.13) for rides between 5am and 7am.
The response to the tweet has been overwhelmingly negative, with users asking to see upgrades in the bus service first before the company could justify asking for fare hikes.
"You only have decent buses in the city center, but the buses on the outskirts often break down," one user said.
What was meant to be a space for discussion about a possible fare hike descended into a thread of complaints about TransJakarta's service, mainly pertaining to crowded bus stops and buses, outdated information screens, and harassment.
A few users see economic sense in the fare hike given that TransJakarta has not altered its regular fare since 2006. They believe that a hike would improve the company's service, particularly in relation to the current irregular headway between buses.
"I don't mind paying more as long as you make massive additions to your fleet so a bus comes every five minutes. Sometimes we wait for 30 minutes and there is no bus, causing cramped conditions in bus stops," one user said.