Weekly 5: Design blunders

The Rp 12 billion (US$ 962,216) Manggarai bus terminal in South Jakarta is supposed to be the benchmark of a modern terminal in the capital city. Renovated under the administration of former governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the terminal looks cool, but at a closer look, the designs have failed to make the lives of passengers easier. Here are five examples of design blunders in Manggarai bus terminal:

The Manggarai bus terminal is actually only some hundred meters from Manggarai train station, which serves as the biggest hub in the inner city railway network. However, the train station and the bus terminal are not integrated; passengers of both forms of public transportation still have to cross a crowded street to reach the station or terminal.

The operational team chief of the terminal, Waluyo, said when the terminal was opened in April last year, three vendors enthusiastically rented the space on the third floor.

“They sold dim sum, cold drinks and donuts. However, as not many people pass through the third floor, they shut the business two months later,” he said.

The reason behind the small number of passengers passing through the third floor was the presence of alternative access from the ground to the nearby Transjakarta bus station.

The Transportation Agency eventually closed the ground access but the business owners had already gone.

Although the terminal only accommodates 212 buses that serve five routes, it was initially designed to accommodate many travel purposes that existed in a Transit Oriented Development (TOD).

The Manggarai terminal provides some spaces for a minimarket, ATM center, office rooms and even a library. However, none of the spaces are well used.

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The minimarket space is now occupied by stainless steel chairs, so that it is not be occupied by vagrants.

Waluyo said that the ceilings of a number of rooms on the top floor were damaged.

Officers of the Transportation Agency who were assigned at the terminal said they could not understand the purpose of installing air conditioners and electric fans in almost all of the corners of the building, which mostly feature semi-outdoor rooms.

A centralized air conditioner was installed in the rooms that actually had decent air ventilation while the electric fans were installed on the porch.

“What’s the point of installing electric fans on the terrace?” Waluyo said, pointing at three fans facing the open space.

Passengers who want to switch transportation modes at the Manggarai terminal face five steep stairs in the terminal. The terminal is also equipped with three escalators, but they are turned off most of the time, especially during the rainy season, as the roof is leaking.

“The newly renovated terminal does not make my life easier,” Dede, a 46-year-old Manggarai resident, said.

Although the road traffic is busy, those who want to take Metromini buses prefer crossing the street on the ground rather than taking the bridge. — JP

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com