TransJakarta to Ditch Cleaner CNG for New Diesel Buses
A new fleet of 158 TransJakarta buses will run on diesel, not compressed natural gas, the bus management company announced on Wednesday in a reversal of a previous commitment to clean-burning alternative fuels.
The new fleet of articulated “accordion” buses will run on diesel fuel instead of compressed natural gas (CNG) because of a shotage of both CNG and filling stations in the capital, TransJakarta Management Unit (BLU TransJakarta) chief Muhammad Akbar said.
“We want to move to diesel because there is a shortage of CNG filling stations [in Jakarta] and the CNG is of poor quality. But this is not decided yet,” Akbar told BeritaJakarta.com.
The new buses will be used on three of the transportation agency’s 11 routes.
TransJakarta billed itself as a champion of cleaner fuels, advertising “This vehicle uses BBG [gas-based fuels]” on its buses after the agency introduced compressed natural gas vehicles in 2006.
But Akbar complained that service has suffered since the switch. It takes a bus two to three hours to fill up on compressed natural gas, he said. A bus has to fill up twice a day, causing service delays and overcrowding at TransJakarta bus stations.
Diesel buses only require one brief visit to the pumps, Akbar said.
“TransJakarta doesn’t want to be accused of not being able to serve the passengers well,” he said. “[Delays] happen because of a shortage of [CNG] in Jakarta.”
The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) called the plan a “backward” move, but placed the blame on the central government for not securing enough compressed natural gas or constructing new filling stations.
The central government pushed the use of compressed natural gas earlier this year as part of a stopgap measure to reduce the use of subsidized fuel. State-owned gas distributor Perusahaan Gas Negara was tasked with constructing 33 new filling stations in Jakarta this year.
Currently, nine stations exist.