Arif B Sholihah

Public Transportation System in Indonesia and Japan

April 16th, 2010 · 12 Comments

Nowadays, people are moving from one place to another in a higher speed than before. Transportation system has developed in each country based on its demand and capability of stakeholders that provide. In most countries, including developing country, public transportation system has been set up in order to comply with public demands. However, there are similarities and differences on the quality of public transportation in each country, in this case are Indonesia as an example of developing country and Japan as a developed country.

To begin with, let us start with the similarities of public transportation system in both countries. In Indonesia and Japan, public transportation system is set up by the government, which involved by private sector and experts. Government and private sector provide mode of public transport, including bus, train, taxi, airplane, and boat. Furthermore, in Indonesian small cities or rural areas some traditional modes of transport are operated by individuals, such as trishaw (Becak) or animal drawn cart (Andong). Meanwhile, those kinds of modes of transport in cities of Japan have vanished decades ago.

Despite the similarities, public transportation system differs greatly in several aspects. First of all, the degree of safety between public transport in Japan and Indonesia is in contrast. In Indonesia, public transport is widely known for its low safety. There are numbers of fatal accident, which cause people got injured or taken their lives and huge material casualties. The accidents are not only involves in on-road public transport (bus, train), but also on air and water (airplane and boats) mode of transport. In contrast to in Indonesia, public transport in Japan is famous for its minimum number of accident. Expert says public transport in Japan is much safer than private transport, such as driving private car. Furthermore, public transport in Japan mostly has controlled via electronic devices rather than manual, which considered as risky since operated by human, as it still activated in Indonesia.

Second major difference is in the reliability. Public transport in Japan has high quality of trustworthiness. As far as it concern, Japanese are famous for their punctuality. People prefer using public transport for the timekeeping and consistency of the service. This is in contrast to in Indonesia. The reliability of public transport is still questionable. For example, train schedule is bad, not to say worst. Moreover, airplane is sometimes too. Delayed flight is in a high number, especially those that operated by the private companies.

The last but not least is the quality of services. Public transport in Indonesia is out of dated in many ways. The most visible to look at is on-road train. Most of train in Indonesia are imported second hand from Japan. While Japan is competing to raise their electronic train as one of the highest speed train in the world, train in Indonesia still in a modest quality. Not only in terms of high speed, but also in terms of the quality of service for the passenger. This condition makes Indonesian prefer using private car rather than public train or buses. The impact is bad. Traffic congestion is more often occurred in Indonesian big cities, including Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya.

It is obvious that the quality of public transportation system is varies from country to country. The experience from Japan and Indonesia shows that although there are similarities of public transport services in both countries, the differences are more dominant. It is not so hard to find that Japan as a developed country has a safer, more reliable, and better services on their public transportation system compared to Indonesia as a developing country.

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