Transportation Expert Criticizes Jokowi over Train Ticket Subsidy

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TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Sutanto Soehodho, a professor of transportation at the University of Indonesia (UI), responded to President Joko Widodo or Jokowi’s statement on the subsidy for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train (KCJB) tickets. He argued that such a subsidy should be for economy-class service transportation to help poor or lower-middle-class people.

Sutanto acknowledged that the subsidy is aimed at helping the public as users who could not afford real fares. So the price is suppressed from the cost of investment, operation, and maintenance.

“The question is whether the KCJB is classified as an economy class service transportation that requires subsidies or whether it is actually non-economy class one,” he told Tempo on Friday, August 11, 2023.

Sutanto mentioned that the Parahyangan Railway, which is in a lower class than the bullet train, does not receive subsidies. On this basis, he questioned the subsidy for KCJB tickets.

“Before talking about how long it should be subsidized, it is more relevant to look at the feasibility of the subsidy itself,” he said.

On Thursday, August 10, President Jokowi said there would be subsidies for tickets for the LRT Jabodebek and the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train, which are similar to those for other modes of public transport. He said this was necessary to attract public interest.


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