Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Drivers protest busway system

The Jakarta Post
National News - December 19, 2006

MAKASSAR: Public transportation drivers in Makassar, South Sulawesi, staged a demonstration Monday against the provincial administration's plan to operate a busway system next year.

The protest left thousands of commuters stranded across the city.

The drivers are worried that the new system will affect their income. "The people will prefer to take the busway and this will decrease our earnings," said a minivan driver.

Stranded passengers were forced to walk or to take ojek (motorcycle taxi). The administration and the local police jointly deployed trucks and cars to help stranded passengers, particularly students.

Data shows that currently there are 4,000 public transportation vehicles in the city, which has a population of 1.3 million -- but there are only 2,800 operation licenses in existence.

Makassar Mayor Ilham Arif said the administration planned to introduce the busway system to provide people with comfortable public transportation. --JP


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