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Public Transport is Dying in Jogja

Posted by Taufiq on September 25, 2014 at 1:14 am

This few days, my mother told me that it is harder to get Biskota. For example, the highway near my house, it used to be passed by Jalur 7, but lately rarely passed, if didn’t pass at all anymore. It passed by Transjogja too, but between the bus stops are too far here.

It was just one of the example, and it was relatively easy as my home rather close to the city. In my last post, I suggest the people to maximize the use of public transportation to reduces the consumption of gasoline fuel. But when the reality said that public transport in Jogja cannot accomodates the needs of the people, what I have to say?

My friend who had home in Pakem, close to Merapi Mountain, argued that there is no public transportation up north from Jogja to the foot of Merapi anymore. His family must join that fuel queue to ensure that they could go to work and to school. The extinction of the public transportation happened in the other places in this province as well.

Because of the rapid growth of the economic in Jogja this lately, the number of motorvehicles also multiplied dramatically. It is not uncommon to see many traffic jams on many spots, not only on morning and afternoon rush hours, but nearly all the day long, except for late night and early morning.

The majority of Jogja’s population had shifted and relied on their own motorvehicles. It was seen as one of the sign of prosperity. But the side effect, public transport system that mainly managed by private owners slowly died out, because their passengers disappeared. In the other words, the public transport is dying in Jogja.

But what about the people who reside on the same foot of Merapi, but they cannot afford any motorvehicles, and must go to work in the city, or to the market to sell their agricultural products? They definitely still need public transport to live and to improve their lives.

Businessmen who ran angkot or bus business see public transport as a way to make money. They didn’t ran it for charity. When it didn’t make profit anymore, they shifted to other business too. So, this is the position of the government, to make sure that all the people had a chance to improve their lives. However, the government also didn’t want to ran it when the majority of the people didn’t have any concern about this.

Imagine this, Jogja has been known as a City of Tourism, City of Culture, City of Education since a long time ago. Is it comfortable for the tourist to see motorvehicles everywhere? Merapi Mountain also one of popular tourist destination in Jogja, is it a new culture to rent vehicles as the only way to go there and anywhere around in Jogja? Is it educated when we see traffic jams, and the people who ignorantly keep rang their horns?

I remember, when I still on the junior high school, me and many other students who had home far from school still had Biskota. I remember when there were many students bicycle riding convoys in the morning. The traffic accidents that caused by kids who ride motorcycles were very rare. I remember when I still a child, me and my family went to Kaliurang by legendary Baker bus. The atmospheres was so peaceful and made me missed with those old days.

I’m not refusing development and modernization. We shall look on Japan. It is a modern and developed country. Look at the Japanese way of life, they have cars, but they know that the public transport also important. Their systematic integration of all form of public transport systems made it easier to travel nearly anywhere, so they prefer to take public transport than ride their cars.

Definitely, we still need public transport, for the sake of our city and ourselves. We don’t want Jogja looks the same as the other big cities in Java for their crowded and busy streets, whereas majority of those big cities have better public transport than Jogja. As a native of Jogjakarta, I still want to live comfortably, happily, and peacefully in this city, and other people as well I think. Of course it cannot be done instantly. With a goodwill and some courage and works, I believe that we could make it.

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