With the news hitting the headlines of numerous medias, this newly launched project has gained massive attention from locals to worldwide. The 34 year-project of the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) has officially hit the road! Even civilians surrounding Jakarta such as Tangerang, Depok, Bogor, and many more are as excited as the local civilians of Jakarta. The first phase of MRT has its rail spreading from Bundaran HI to Lebak Bulus as long as 15.7 kilometers. The Jakarta MRT has gained a lot of enthusiasm, since it is not a question that a good quality of public transportation is a big step towards a developed country.

Unfortunately, not all things start off as neatly as it should. The news of the ridiculous Jakarta MRT rider manners had been an egg on the face to the local citizens. Stations have already become a new picnic spot for some middle-aged women. Some have been dangling to the train handles. ­­­Even worst, some civilians have been seen to have allowed their children to urinate on the corners of the station. What a situation! This unfortunate condition has even been reported by some Japanese and other international medias.

A lot of local citizens had criticized this matter loudly, blaming this attitude towards lower-class civilians who are less educated. However, many of them expressed to stop criticizing this matter and to not put all of the blame to the lower-class civilians. They expressed that it is – as a matter of fact – natural for them to give this kind of reaction. Of course, the government had not come empty-handed. They predicted this kind of situation and has actually made some measures in regarding these manners. They publicized manner campaign videos for MRT riders to watch on their social media page, or even during train rides. They also have set fines for MRT riders that fail to follow these etiquettes. Nevertheless, we still would not know how the output will come out sooner. Now comes the big question; how can we as normal citizens change this attitude?  

Changing the manners of a 267 million-populated country is not an easy thing to do. Even Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, expressed that he also experienced a lot of hardships while ruling the nation. However, he said that change comes not only from the governor, but also from the citizens themselves.

One thing that we can try is to start small. First, is we have to keep in mind that following the rules are set for the peace of all citizens. So, make sure to not only understand every rule that is given, but also making it happen by our actions. Here are some of the most important rules for MRT riding in Jakarta:

  1. Do not play nor run around the train/station hallways
  2. When going up or down an elevator, use the left path when you’re not walking on the elevator. This will leave a space on the right path for the people that is in a hurry or people that prefer to walk on the elevator.
  3. Prioritize the elderly, the pregnant, the disabled and children by offering them your seat when you see one of them or you can simply not sit down at the priority seat.
  4. DO NOT LITTER the train/train station.
  5. When using a lift, prioritize the people that are going out of the lift.
  6. Do not stand on the passenger gates, because it will block MRT riders that will go inside the train.
  7. While waiting for the train to arrive, make sure you’re queueing on the place given (which is on the left and right to each subway doors)
  8. source: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu-bzElHgl3/
  9. When your train arrives, make sure to give the passengers a way out first, then you can make your way inside.
  10. Don’t sit down on the train floors.
  11. DO NOT EAT & DRINK during train rides.
  12. Do not push the other passengers when going out of the train.
  13. Do not force to go inside the train when it’s already full enough. The other ride with the same destination will arrive in less than 5-7 minutes.

Those are just a few from many rules that have their own sanctions if we fail to follow. Okay, we’ve understood the rules and followed them, now what? Of course, these rules won’t have a big impact if you’re the only obedient one. When you see other riders fail to follow these rules, warn them in a polite way. Yes, polite way I say, because our way of reminding can become intimidating to other riders that are easily offended. So make sure to also remind them with manners.

I think we all do believe now that although infrastructure plays a big role developed country, change starts from the citizens themselves. It’s amazing that one change in manner can cause a big change in a nation. As it is said, you can make a difference. Start now!

Words By: Charissa Andriani
Header Credits: Liam Burnett-Blue on Unsplash