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Sutiyoso set on busway launch, ignores backseat drivers JAKARTA - Despite the technical problems during the trial run last year, Governor Sutiyoso insists the new busway corridors will start limited operations on Jan. 15. But the buses driving the new routes may still be powered by diesel, rather than cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG). And the full quotient of buses won't come into service until April. "I don't see any significant obstacles (to the launch of the new busway project). We will go ahead with the plan to have our maiden ride on Jan. 15," Sutiyoso said at City Hall on Tuesday.

Sutiyoso said he would closely monitor the final preparation of the new busway routes, which will stretch from Pulogadung in East Jakarta to Harmoni in Central Jakarta and from there to Kalideres in West Jakarta. The Dec. 20 trial run was marred by an incident when a CNG-powered bus on which Sutiyoso, city officials and journalists were on board could not reach its desired speed because of apparent overloading.

To save face, the trial committee transferred the passengers to one of the more powerful diesel buses used on the first busway corridor. The Jakarta administration plans to use the CNG buses made by South Korean company Daewoo on the new busway routes as part of project to provide environmentally friendly public transportation in the capital. The Daewoo buses were bought for Rp 1.6 billion each, almost double the cost of the old diesel buses, which were priced at between Rp 800 million and Rp 1 billion.

Sutiyoso acknowledged that the new buses were still causing problems. "Only a few (CNG-fueled) buses will be ready for the launch," he said. City Transportation Agency deputy head Udar Pristono said earlier that his agency would operate 23 buses on the first day, with nine buses serving the Pulogadung-Harmoni route and 14 buses for the Harmoni-Kalideres route. Pristono said the new corridors would only be fully operational in April when 71 new buses were ready.

Bus operator PT TransBatavia president director Azis Rismaya said 10 new buses would be ready before the launch. As for the routes, The Jakarta Post observed on Tuesday that several busway lanes were incomplete. At the Senen underpass in Central Jakarta and at Jl. Bekasi Raya in East Jakarta, the buses will have to merge with other traffic and are likely to get stuck in the heavy jams there. "Headway", the expected speed and duration needed by a bus to move from point A to point B, will only be achieved when these lanes are finished.

After the second and third busway corridors, the administration plans to expedite the development of 15 more busway routes in the city by constructing four new lanes this year. Corridors will link Pulogadung to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta; Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta to Ancol in North Jakarta; Warung Jati/Ragunan in South Jakarta to Jl. Imam Bonjol in Central Jakarta; and Kampung Rambutan in East Jakarta to Kampung Melayu.

The city has earmarked Rp 876.7 billion (74,9 million euro) in its 2006 budget for the routes' development.

One euro = 11,700 rupiah



Posted in General @ 04 January 2006 10:48 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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