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YLKI warns of rocky Idul Fitri journeys JAKARTA - The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) warned holidaymakers on Monday not to expect a smooth journey, with disruptions likely no matter the type of land transportation. Tulus Abadi, who is coordinating the YLKI's Idul Fitri exodus monitoring team, said the myriad problems afflicting land transportation, primarily trains and buses, had yet to be properly addressed by the government.
"Our record shows that there are still a large number of vehicular accidents. However, the government has made no improvements in promoting safety for travelers during the annual exodus," he said at a media conference. According to the YLKI's records, between August and September of this year there were 22 serious accidents in Greater Jakarta, including four collisions between trains and buses and three train derailments. Over that same period, the foundation recorded 364 incidents of train locomotives suffering mechanical problems.
The foundation also warned that state-run train operator PT KAI was likely to suffer telecommunications, electricity and signal problems ahead of the holiday exodus. Idul Fitri falls on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 this year, while the peak of exodus is expected from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23. As for private buses, the foundation said that several days prior to the exodus peak there was an increasing number of incidents of bus operators ignoring the government's ruling on floor and ceiling bus fare prices.
"Last year, the YLKI found a large number of bus operators that arbitrarily increased fares higher than the ceiling price. However, they were able to walk away free," Tulus said. He called on the government to go beyond routine checks, as "the safety of passengers could not be guaranteed with only providing hammers and fire extinguishers for each bus".
The YLKI will establish posts in the Gambir and Pasar Senen railway stations in Central Jakarta, and the Kampung Rambutan bus terminal in East Jakarta, where travelers can lodge complaints. Meanwhile, the head of the PT KAI operational area overseeing Jakarta, Achmad Masduki, said additional business-class and economy-class train tickets were still available at Senen station.
Though business-class tickets for Nov. 21, Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 were already sold out, he said tickets for Nov. 24 were still available. A staff member at the railway station said that they were working with the YLKI to monitor any irregularities and to ensure all passengers received good service. The head of the Pulo Gadung bus terminal in East Jakarta, Pardjiman, said that preparations were well underway for the Idul Fitri exodus.
"We have about 320 buses operating now. But we have requested bus operators to prepare additional buses to anticipate a soaring number of passengers," he said. Pardjiman predicted there would be at least a 5 percent increase in the number of passengers before and during the holiday, and his office had suggested that bus companies operate nonstop. "That would mean each bus must have two drivers. Usually, bus drivers rest for several hours after reaching their destinations. If they have two drivers, they could drive back straight away," he said.



Posted in Ramadan @ 18 November 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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