The Conductor

Conductor Metromini(The Conductor)

Indonesians, or expats like me who are here long enough would recognize the subject of the above photo. This is a phoneography photo taken, on my way to work, of one of the many bus conductors of “Kopaja” buses in Jakarta.

The Kopaja minibus network (others being MetroMini etc) is a big part of public transport system in Jakarta – often being used by low – mid income people. The buses have seating for around 20-30 people, however, a usual sight of them during peak hours (sometimes off-peak) is that they are overcrowded/overloaded with an equal number crammed into their limited standing room.

On one hand, the buses are cheap and readily available; on the other hand, the buses are operated by un-educated and reckless operators (drivers and conductors) and they are loosely-regulated by authorities. The drivers drive recklessly without obeying the traffic rules, driving down opposite directions to bypass traffic; while the conductors always jump out of the buses out of a sudden onto the road to open way for their buses proving dangerous to their own lives and other motorists.

Another major complaint on these buses is that they are usually badly maintained, and often break down in the middle of the road (especially on the small roads they usually travel) being the one of the major factors of traffic congestion in Jakarta. The buses are also often regarded as unsafe especially at night, and contributing significant amounts of pollution in Jakarta due to the buses operating on diesel, using cheap parts and badly maintained.

With the above, if you are looking for something bad and uncivilised in Jakarta, it’s not that hard to find they are all around on the public roads, and one of them is the Kopaja buses ( 😛 it seems like I’m letting out my anger and frustration on MetroMini buses here !)

In case you are wondering how Kopaja buses look like, following is a quick uncomposed shot of it:

Metromini

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2 thoughts on “The Conductor

  1. There are several minibus provider in Jakarta. MetroMini, Kopaja, Kowanbiasata, and others. You can tell the difference based on color. MetroMini is orange, Kopaja is green, and Kowanbisata usualy operates yellow buses. As in your post, it is Kopaja. 🙂

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