Gov’t Prepares New Transportation System to Adapt to New Normal
Date 7 Juni 2020
The Government through Ministry of Transportation is preparing a new transportation system that upholds hygienic and humanitarian values to adapt to the new normal.
“To face the new normal, health and economic aspects must become priority. Therefore, we must develop transportation system that is hygienic and less contact, which will be a solution and bring benefits for general public,” Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said during a virtual discussion session that adopted a theme “Challenges for Transportation during the Pandemic and New Normal” on Saturday (6/6).
The Minister went on to say that public transportation where many people gathered in one transportation mode must be changed by prioritizing health aspect to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For that reason, transportation users and operators must adapt to the habits in the new normal and comply with new health protocols and procedures in using transportation such as keeping safe distance.
“Wearing masks and keeping safe distance in public transportation will be the new normal. However, to realize it, we all must share similar fundamental views,” he added.
Also on that occasion, the Minister said that we can have two benefits from adapting to the new normal. First, the implementation of health protocols will protect the country from the pandemic, and second, it will support activities in the country and prevent the emerging of new issues, such as fiscal crisis, as well as problems in food security and educational system.
“However, the implementation of health protocols and physical distancing in public transportation will increase operational cost since the occupancy rate will not be 100 percent. Thus, we must seek the solution,” he said adding that the Government cannot increase public transportation fare because it will burden the people.
Therefore, he added, the solution is whether the Government increase subsidy for public transportation or implement other policies. Stakeholders including the Government, the people, business sector, universities, and mass organizations must collaborate and support each other.
“We must face the challenge together because many hands make light work,” he stated.
The Ministry is now cooperating with a number of universities including Gadjah Mada University (UGM), University of Indonesia (UI), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), and 10 November Institute of Technology (ITS) to conduct studies which will generate policy paper from various background as the basis in formulating policy in transportation sector toward the new normal.
“On this occasion, we invite all universities to play active role in providing inputs for the Government and educate the people. Their roles through researches and development are really needed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and the preparation to adapt to the new normal,” he explained.
For the record, social restrictions imposed during the pandemic have been significantly affected social and economic activities. Transportation sector still operates to support humanitarian missions and maintain logistics chain.
Based on data from the National Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of airline passengers in April declined by 81.7 percent compared to the previous month, or declined by 85 percent compared to the same period last year. In addition, the number of passengers of land and water transportations also declined significantly.
Therefore, the Government is preparing the new normal concept, that is a concept about a lifestyle that changes people’s habits into more healthy and safety manners to prevent them from the spread of COVID-19 and at the same time it also allows them to be productive during their activities. (Ministry of Transportation/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana