"I always take the bus."
"Because it's cheap."
Actually, Jakartass doesn't but, believe me, I would if they were like London's buses
(Saturday 7a.m: For a Londoner's take on the article, read Inspector Sands. It seems that Thatcher's legacy was a Jakarta-like chaos which has been turned round by a mayor who cares. Over to you Gov. Sooty.)
This is not a Jakarta bus. I commented
yesterday how quiet Jakarta's streets were on Wednesday. I put this down to temporary obeyance of SBY's edict to save energy. Like all trends, however, I suspect that things will return to 'normal' pretty soon.
Normal as in transport workers going on strike because their salaries are unpaid or their status is low. It was bus drivers last week and will be railway employees
at the beginning of next month.
And normal as in the traffic grinding to a halt in the flooded streets because shopping malls and exclusive housing complexes have been built on Jakarta's flood plain. Mind you, the torrential downpour we're experiencing today is not normal in the dry, rather than rainy, season.
In fact, this is where I must pause to strew buckets and towels around because, strewth, this is a really massive storm and there are leaks where there shouldn't be.
And back at the keyboard, it's worth noting that, much as London Buses are back to being one corporate entity, so there's a realisation here that too many bosses cook the books.
The Jakarta administration revealed yesterday
that it would transform the TransJakarta Busway Management into a corporate entity in order to boost flexibility in handling the planned 15 busway corridors in the capital.TransJakarta Busway Management has repeatedly complained that it could not use the revenue it collects from tickets because the funds have to be transferred to city coffers. It cannot immediately repair damaged lanes, for instance, since the authority and funds to repair the lanes is in the hands of the City's Public Works Agency.
Aside from the Public Works Agency, at least four other agencies are involved in some way with management of the Busway, including the City Transportation Agency, which handles shelters and traffic signs; the City Park Agency that is in charge of median strips; the City Public Order Agency that provides security personnel and the City Public Illumination and Road Infrastructure Agency that handles street lighting along the corridors.
The need for a sane public transport policy in Jakarta is paramount, not least because the immense drain on fuel supplies by private motorists.
My old friend, Bill Guerin, has an excellent analysis of the fuel and energy crisis here
And now I must leave for the land of nod as I've run out of steam.