Look at how ten years changed Indonesian. From the past time and today . It amazes everyone how fast things can change in just ten years.
There was one massive revolution driven by Ignasius Jonan, who left his job at Citibank to handle Indonesian Railway Corporation. The move may seems a bit strange because in the past, such roles were usually taken care by bureaucrats or civil servants instead of professionals.
He is well-known for his can-do attitude that earned him the role as Minister of Transportation in 2014. Below I will show you how the railways of Indonesia has changed under his leadership.
This was how the Indonesian railways looked like, ten years ago.
The “Business Class” looked like this. Almost no different to the “Economy Class”, except that you get a seat number. Hawkers used to roam freely in the cabin.
People made long queue just to buy tickets at the train station back in 2006.
And since the Economy Class did not assign you a seat, you might as well be sitting on the roof. Crazy, I know. Those were the daredevils.
And this was the infamous Jakarta Commuter Line (KRL) where you could find yourself seated with monkeys, chickens, or goats on your way to work.
Riding a train was a dangerous experience. The Executive Class was a bit better. However, you can also find rats or cockroaches roaming around. However, Indonesia experienced rapid transformation within a short span.
Ten years, to be more precise.
And this is how Indonesia railways looks in the present day, after Jonan took over.
With no monkeys or chicken, the interior of the train is now clean. The number of trains have also increased greatly. With trains scheduled every fifteen minutes, the crowd can be eased. Rush-hour can be pretty crowded, but it is not brutal like it used to be.
The workers today are well-paid and professional. As a regular rider for Jakarta towards Bandung route, I find them very helpful.
More importantly, there is nobody on the roof. Sitting on the roof can earn you prison-time. Even crazier, the government now has rights to execute you.
I am serious.
The government is trying to kill anyone who dares to sit on the roof.
Tickets can be bought online, thus reducing the crowd. Train stations are being rebuilt, reconstructed, in the past ten years. Automated ticket machines are also available on each train station.
How about the train itself? The Economy Class of Jakarta-Bandung today looks like this one (compare to the photos of “Economy Class” above). Everybody gets their seat assigned.
It has one downside : the seat cannot be reclined.
For smaller cities, it still looks like this. But gradually it has been changed for the better. It is about time.
And the Business Class look slightly better.
The Executive Class comes in many flavors. It usually caters for niche travelers with deeper pockets, who really want to enjoy the ride. It is faster and stops at fewer stations.
It comes with larger leg-rooms and some routes have personal entertainment for the passengers.
There is also special cabins like the Tourism Class.
And cities like Jakarta, Medan, Padang, Solo, and Yogyakarta are getting an Airport Train that is very comfortable and always on-time.
If you see how far Indonesia railway has improved in the span of ten years, you cannot help but wonder how. The answer this man: Ignasius Jonan..
He single-handedly changed the face of Indonesian railways.