As a person who do not own nor drive any vehicle, I usually choose public transportation to go to many places in Bukittinggi, except when I had to go to work in the morning. Although the idea to go alone often came up to my mind and I had stated the idea to my parents, they asked me to wait and went to work together by car. Even though getting a ride in my father’s car is very convenient, I would not explain it further in this post. Instead, I would share a bit information about public transportation in Bukittinggi.
Bukittinggi is a small town, yet have adequate public transportations. Not trains, not buses, but share taxis.
Vehicle type which are used for this purpose is minibuses, mainly Toyota Kijang or Suzuki Carry.
Here, share taxis operate along a route. The passengers can ride and disembark anywhere, as long as it still on the route. They are not only connecting areas in this town, but also connecting certain areas in Bukittinggi with neighboring regency. The public cars operates from the morning until the night comes, but they are hard to find after 9 PM. Because of that, I should ask my father to pick me up if I had to go home late. These rather short operational hours maybe quite bothersome for many people who used to live in big cities. However, that is okay for me since I do not really like to spend the night outside my home.
They are not owned by municipal government, but by an association. The association named Ikabe (Ikatan Kendaraan Bemo). Other association of share taxis are Mersi (Merapi Singgalang). These names are painted on every cars, so you do not worry for riding in an illegal share taxi. I am sorry for not providing further information about these associations because of my limited knowledge.
These share taxis operate regularly and available in adequate number, so people can ride in anytime in operating hours. Waiting time is usually not too long, except before departing or if the driver want to load passengers. Besides that, this mode of transportation is very convenient because allowing passengers who ride these share taxis to ride and disembark anywhere in the route.
Too many share taxis could cause traffic congestion, because they do not have any fixed stop, like bus. They usually stopped for a while near market, waiting for the passengers. This condition is difficult for other vehicles and pedestrians, who share the road with share taxis.
It may be better if municipal government manage the public transportations, provide strict regulations related to it. To fulfill increasing need of public transportation, share taxis are may be not enough. Buses with fixed stops maybe a good option to solve traffic congestion caused by share taxis.
This post is written to fulfill the 12th challenge of English Friday.
Public transport (Wikipedia)
Share taxi (Wikipedia)