Trans Metro Deli, New Culture of Public Transportation in Medan
The presence of the Trans Metro Deli bus immediately attracted the attention of residents in Medan, North Sumatra. In less than a month, the buses have transported more than 80,000 passengers.
Aufrida Wismi Warastri/Nikson Sinaga
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The presence of the Trans Metro Deli bus immediately attracted the attention of residents in Medan, North Sumatra. In less than a month, the buses have transported more than 80,000 passengers. The buses present a new culture of comfortable and safe transportation.
Only 10 minutes after the Trans Metro Deli bus departed from the Tuntung pool to Merdeka Square, Dwikora br Panggabean, 56, could not hold back his sleep. The cool and calm atmosphere on the bus caused him to fall asleep for a moment. When he woke up 15 minutes later, he said, "I can\'t fall asleep like this if I take an angkot (public minivan)," Thursday (3/12/2020).
The 20-seater medium-sized bus is comfortable and air conditioned. The bus is traveling constantly with a maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour. The bus only stops at the bus stop.
During the pandemic, buses are only carrying half the capacity. The drivers also keep reminding passengers to wear masks properly. Passengers without masks are prohibited from boarding the buses. Every few minutes there is also a recommendation to maintain an automatic health protocol that is played on the bus, in addition to the announcement of the location of the stop. Hand washing liquid is also provided beside the bus exit.
The bus driver replied politely that no music was playing.
"What if there is music to make it not too quiet," said Dwikora. Understandably, public transportation in Medan used to play thumping music. The bus driver replied politely that no music was playing.
The Trans Metro Deli buses were launched in Medan on Monday (16/11). The buses serve three corridors, namely Medan Tuntungan-Merdeka Square, Amplas Terminal-Merdeka Square, and Tembung-Merdeka Square.
A total of 35 buses are operated every day with two types of buses, namely medium buses with a capacity of 20 seats and large buses with a capacity of 40 seats. Mass transportation within the city has not been charged until the end of December. Medan residents also flock to try it.
"I was cursed at by a passenger for refusing to transport him," said John Andre Purba, 34, a Trans Medan Deli bus driver who previously was an inter-provincial transport driver. The bus looks empty, as it can only carry 50 percent of the capacity.
A large number of passengers was seen on weekends. Crowds of prospective passengers can always be seen in front of Bank Indonesia (BI) stops.
Dwikora that day tried the bus with eight women. They were members of the Sejahtera swimming group in Pondok Surya housing complex, Medan Helvetia. The women, who were mostly elderly, previously made an appointment to meet at Merdeka Square. They tried the Merdeka Square-Tuntungan corridor bus going back and forth.
Ita br Tobing, 66, a friend of Dwikora\'s group, said that the bus is very comfortable and the service is good. However, she complained about the bus stop that had not been built and the bus pool which was still improper.
"It\'s hard to go to the bathroom," said Ita. From Merdeka Square to the bus stop in front of BI, there were no adequate road crossings, so the elderly should be extra careful in crossing the road.
Passengers are also prohibited from eating and drinking on the bus. "We have to stand thirst, not drinking on the bus," said Ratna Juwita br Tobing, 65, another member of the group.
The relatively slow bus speed was complained by some passengers. In response to this, John often gave the understanding to passengers that the speed of the vehicle was monitored by the manager. If it exceeds the limit, the alarm on the bus will sound. "We were monitored by cameras. If there is a violation, it will be seen immediately,” he said.
So far more passengers have praised the service on the bus. "It is comfortable and especially safe," said Ade, 27, a resident of Medan Tuntung, who admitted that she was not afraid to be disturbed by pickpockets or other passengers while riding the bus. Moreover, on the bus there is an emergency button that the driver can press at any time if there is danger on the bus.
The bus was also fast on arrival. On average every 10 minutes there is a bus which passes.
Maria Perangin-Angin, a resident of Tuntung, also said that she was happy with the bus. She repeatedly rode the bus to the city. The bus was also fast on arrival. On average every 10 minutes there is a bus which passes.
As of Wednesday (9/12), the Land Transportation Management Agency (BPTD) Region II of North Sumatra of the Transportation Ministry, recorded that 82,340 passengers took the Trans Metro Deli bus with an average capacity of 23.89 percent. There are greater number of passengers, especially on weekends because many residents use this transportation means for holidays.
"The interest of Medan residents is good," said head of BPTD Region II of North Sumatra, Putu Sumarjaya. In addition to the three existing corridors, there is also a plan to add new corridors, namely the corridors of Pinang Baris Terminal-Merdeka Square, Belawan-Merdeka Square, Deli Tua-Merdeka Square, Pinang Baris Terminal-Amplas Terminal, and Pinang Baris Terminal-Jalan Aksara.
At present, the bus operation is still being carried out by the Transportation Ministry. However, it is hoped that the next three to four years this can be managed by the local government. The bus ticket payment will later use an electronic money card at a rate which has not yet been determined.
Head of the Medan Transportation Office Iswar Lubis said that the high enthusiasm of Medan City residents in using the Trans Metro Deli buses shows mass transportation will become a new civilization in Medan. "The people of Medan really miss mass transportation that is comfortable and modern," he said.
The construction of comfortable and safe bus stops must also be completed by the Medan City Government.
The most important homework, according to Iswar, is building a modern culture of mass transportation in society. Trans Metro Deli brings a new transportation culture, namely a transportation which is comfortable, on time, getting on and off at bus stops, as well as with payment with electronic money. The construction of comfortable and safe bus stops must also be completed by the Medan City Government.
Traffic congestion in Medan City has begun to decrease with the operation of the Trans Metro Deli. In the future, residents are expected to abandon private vehicles to switch to comfortable and modern mass transportation means.