Ignasius Jonan, President Director of PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) said that PT KAI hopes that air-conditioned commuter train is also obtain subsidized funding through the Public Service Obligation (PSO) from the government. The request was conveyed in the hearing between the Comission V of House of Representatives, the Directorate General of Railways, and PT KAI, at the Parliament Building, Wednesday (15/5).
From passenger statistics, the need for the air conditioned commuter train as a means of transportation have also increased. According to PT KAI, during the last 4 months, the number of passengers of the air conditioned commuter train reached 32 million people. The amount is larger than the non air conditioned commuter train that reached only 10 million people.
Responding to the PT KAI request, the Vice Chairman of Commission V Muhidin M Said said this is not a difficult issue. Muhidin said that the government only needs to shift PSO subsidies for non air conditioned commuter train amounting to Rp 156 billion to air conditioned commuter train. Therefore, the Government should revise Ministry of Transportation Regulation No. 8/2012 on Guidelines for Calculating Rates for Public Transport by Train and Ministry of Transportation Regulation No. 43/2012 on 2012 on Public Transport by Economy Class Train
Tundjung Inderawan, Director General of Railways, said non-AC commuter train was hardly met the standards of passenger safety. Therefore, the government through PT KAI plans to stop operate non air conditioned commuter train starting July 1, 2013.
In the hearing, the House finally approved the provision of subsidies for air conditioned commuter train. Before this approval from the house, this subsidy can only be granted to operate non air conditioned commuter train. Muhidin M. Said, states that all parties have agreed to the plan to stop the operation of the non air conditioned commuter train and therefore the air conditioned commuter train will get the PSO. The magnitude of the PSO in 2013 for Railways approved amounted to Rp 704 billion from Rp 804 billion proposal.
PSO is the government subsidies given to train passengers in economy class, including for services to disadvantaged communities. PSO formulation is the difference between the tariffs rates set by the company with the rate set by the government.
All parties on the hearing have agreed that to improve the quality of railway services and should give priority to the safety and comfort aspects while considering the purchasing power of low-income people in the tariff determination
To accommodate the interests of the poorer, Commission V of the House agreed with the Directorate General of Railways of the Ministry of Transportation and PT KAI to provide PSO with a pattern of targeted subsidies and coordinate with all parties, including the local government
Some efforts have been programmed by PT KAI and PT KCJ in order to improve the commuter train services. Among other things, the implementation and optimization of the e-ticketing system which is planned to begin by June 1, 2013, implementation of distance-based fare system, the addition of trip frequency and adding more commuter train capacity especially during peak hours.