Bus has always been my choice during crazy peak season like exodus. Yes, I know. I have to spend more hours on the road and get more exhausted. Worst thing is traffic jam. Unless Indonesia really improves its already bad public transportation system, I dont think I will turn my eyes from bus.
Actually, I could book cheaper airplane tickets for going back home during Eid al-Fitr far before the festivity takes place. But since I resign jobs quite frequently thus I do not know if I am able to take some days off to return home. It will be risky for me to buy tickets without ensuring myself I can go home at dates written in the tickets. This reason applies for me in not buying train tickets. Plus, I dont want to get up very early in the morning then rush to the train stations to queue for train tickets. I can actually book train tickets via online but I dont have credit cards. And I am such a controversial (or may be a stupid person) who still prefer to procure or reserve tickets (or everything) manually.
Last reason is I feel pity with bus service companies who complain they suffer from losses since the mushrooming of private vehicles. I wanna help them. (Seems too kind of me, huh?). So, its a kind of win-win solution. Bus drivers can still survive whilst I go home without spending too much money although I have to struggle against traffic jam and tiredness.
In my journey back home in 2008, 2009 and 2011, I witnessed more and more private vehicles fill up streets in major routes from Jakarta to cities in Central Java. I am afraid this fact is getting worse in years to come. At this point, I am so dissapointed with the government who seems turn a blind eye on this phenomenon that marks the movement of millions of people from some points to another. When annual exodus is about to come, the government is busy in repairing roads or building new toll roads to ease traffic congestion. Believe me. The more toll roads, the more private vehicles are. That is not really a solution for once and all.
Why does not the government prepare for more trains? Or why does the government build more railways and stations to accomodate more trains during the high season? I read the state-owned train firm Kereta Api Indonesia does add more trains but surely that is inadequate. What if it constructs more railways and provide more trains? This goes for economy and executive classes.
Unfortunately, it seems the government takes benefits from exodus season. The company applied highest tariff level for each executive class train ticket this year’s exodus season. Thus, one must pay up to 600,000 rupiah for each ticket from Jakarta to Surakarta, almost double from the price outside the season. This what makes me feel even angry. I understand if private bus service companies or airlines raise ticket prices to get as much benefits as possible, but how could the government-run firm do similar things?
In an article, state-owned minister Mustafa Abubakar asked for the public to understand that train tickets soared because of high demand. His statement makes me lift my eyebrows. With delayed schedule and not-so-good service plus very expensive food on board, how could you charge us so expensive???
Transportation Ministy reported a 44.6 percent rise in traffic accidents with 4,065 traffic accidents occured during this year’s exodus season. This should have raised alarm for related institutions and public, too. I supported the government’s move by deploying policemen to control motorists and placing them in some critical points but a good public transportation system is undoubtedly the sole solution for the present and the future.