Monday, October 29, 2007

Why Buses in Jakarta Are So Unreliable?

Any of you even sat on a public bus (excluding Busway) in Jakarta would be familiar with the story.

The buses would stop and go slow when we want them to go quicker. They would put too much passenger in side. There is no telling when they will come even though, when you go to the bus terminal at the end of line there are a lot of them (ngetem). Some of the air con are not working properly.

Why can we have a decent and working bus like in our neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore (Manila’s Jeepney is almost as bad as Jakarta) ?

The public and paying customer, supposedly, want comfortable and safe ride to destination. The bus drivers want money. There is nothing wrong with economic motive but where is the invisible hand?

But in Jakarta (I don’t know enough about other city in Indonesia) each bus driver collect money directly from passenger. So their objective function (to use economic jargon) is to maximize revenue with gasoline and (possible) police punishment as constraint.

They would not stop in the middle of the main street for 1 hour, except engine trouble, since doing so would attract costly fine from the police. But if waiting additional 10 minutes on the street side can enhance their passenger/revenue then wait they will.

But police and punishment can only go so far against economic incentive. What we need to do is change the incentive.

Let all bus become Busway. Not that all need special lane, but to pay a bus driver by a fix reasonable wages regardless of the number of passenger they carry. Don’t let passenger pay to drivers (put extra payment compare to buy ticket beforehand should reduce the practice sharply), they need to buy the ticket before get on the bus.

Thus, there is no incentive for the drivers to pack so many people inside the bus and to move incessantly slow. Incentive work at the margin

It doesn’t have to be have to be state owned company, just as long as the bus company care about their reputation and know holding it up will increase their revenue. We need to open the license for new bus company and we also need to get rid of part-time-and-occasional driver (supir tembak) since they care little about reputation (is a series of one shot game for them).

Then we can fix schedule and give bonus to drivers if the bus on time and penalty for being late (at least for departure time at endpoint). Let Jakarta have a decent public busses that we deserved and has been waiting for so long.

It doesn’t have to be like this forever.


Martha-Happy said...

Bukan cuma butuh kesadaran pengelola angkutan bus ato pemerintah, karena kadang masyarkat sendiri sebagai konsumennya yang menciptakan ketidaknyamanan dan ketidakteraturan. Naik atau minta berhenti di tempat2 semau mereka(karena seharusnya di halte ato terminal khan?lagipula halte disini dikit banget yang bener)atau maksain diri naik meski liat udah ada 5 kepala yang nongol dipintu. Menciptakan sistem yang benar mungkin gak butuh waktu lama, tapi membiarkan orang belajar dan mematuhi sistem baru dengan mengubah kebiasaan lama itu yang butuh waktu lama.Orang Indonesia sudah terlalu terbiasa dengan ketidakteraturan,bener gak?

Berly said...

Sepakat bahwa halte juga perlu di perbaiki. Tapi kalo sistem insentif tidak diubah (termasuk hukuman bagi penumpang yang naik/turun di luar halte) maka tidak banyak yg akan pake halte sehingga halte dibangunnya kecil. Lingkaran setan kan...

Argument utama dari tulisanku bahwa insentif penumpang dan pengendara berbeda. Pengendara untung kalo sebanyak mungkin penumpang dalam satu rit tp keuntungannya tidak dikurangi kalo perjalanan lama dan tidak nyaman. Makanya perlu diubah sistem insenftif-nya dan pemberian sanksi yang tegas..

Martha-Happy said...

btw, kenapa gak jadi datang waktu Muswil IMEPI Jabagbar sabtu kemaren, banyak yang nunggu, mo dengar cerita tentang sejarah IMEPI.
Taufik loh yang jadi sekwil IMEPI Jabagbar 07-09

fajar said...

salam kenal