State-owned bus operator TransJakarta has unveiled plans to electrify its bus fleet by 2030 and to expand the fleet size to over 10,200 electric buses. TransJakarta already operates the longest bus rapid transit (BRT) network in the world, which was also the first BRT system in Southeast Asia, being introduced in 2004. The operator currently serves the Greater Jakarta Area, which has a population of 30 million. It has a daily ridership of 1 million passengers.

Current operations

TransJakarta operates a network of 188 bus routes across eight service categories. Table 1 provides information on the routes operated by TransJakarta.

TransJakarta registered an annual ridership of 145 million passengers in 2022. Maximum ridership was observed across BRT routes, followed by Microtrans and feeder routes.

BRT corridors

TransJakarta currently operates a network of 13 BRT corridors, totalling 216.1 km and covering 260 stops. Table 2 provides information on the operational BRT corridors.

The BRT system is integrated with the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), the Jakarta Light Rail Transit (LRT), and a network of air-conditioned microbuses.

Bus fleet

TransJakarta has deployed a fleet of 4,415 buses providing BRT and non-BRT services. This includes a fleet of 1,461 articulated, single, and maxi buses deployed on 32 BRT routes, and a fleet of 2,129 gasoline-fuelled microbuses deployed on Microtrans routes. Currently, gasoline and diesel buses are mostly predominant in the bus fleet.

Table 3 provides information on the composition of TransJakarta’s bus fleet.

Working model

TransJakarta is owned by the Government of Jakarta. TransJakarta is partly funded through Public Service Obligation (PSO) from regional public funds and its tariff is subsidised by the government. The flat tariff, set at IDR3,500 per ride, has not increased since it was issued initially in 2004. The Government of Jakarta covers 90 per cent of TransJakarta’s operational costs.

TransJakarta has provided service contracts to 18 bus operators on a gross cost contract (GCC) basis, which guarantee a minimum level of service to passengers in the region. TransJakarta pays the bus operator based on the operational performance (km driven) and the price rate (IDR/km) for the services provided. The bus operators are responsible for bus purchase, operation, and maintenance as well as for providing the depots. For instance, PT Steady Safe signed an agreement with TransJakarta to supply, operate, and maintain 119 buses until 2028; the contract duration is extendable as per the agreement.

Future plans

Upcoming BRT corridors

TransJakarta has proposed the development of Corridors 14 and 15 as elevated busways. Corridor 14 will connect the Jakarta International Stadium with Senen, covering seven stops. Corridor 15 will connect the Jakarta International Stadium with Pulo Gebang. The proposals are still at the planning stage.

Bus Electrification Plan

TransJakarta has formulated an ambitious plan for the electrification of its bus fleet, as part of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group’s Green and Healthy Streets (GHS) Declaration signed by the Government of Jakarta in September 2019. TransJakarta commenced the plan with a pre-trial of electric buses in 2019 and 2020. A pilot phase in 2021–22 focused on piloting 30 buses and on developing a new business model to support the technological transition. As of March 2023, 30 e-buses have been deployed on routes 1N (Jak Lingko Tanah Abang 2–Blok M), 1R (Jak Lingko Tanah Abang–Terminal Senen), and 6N (Stasiun MRT Fatmawati–Ragunan). The buses are charged overnight at the depot and have an operating range of 200 km/day.

Further, TransJakarta has announced plans to deploy an additional 70 electric buses by the end of 2023. Of these, 22 electric buses were procured in March 2023 and the remaining 48 buses are expected to be procured by August 2023. These buses are planned to be procured via the Buy the Service (BTS) scheme. Under this scheme, the operators will finance the buses and TransJakarta will pay the operators on a fixed rupiah-per-kilometre rate.

Procurement plan

TransJakarta has announced plans to fully electrify its fleet by 2030, taking the total fleet size to 10,207 electric buses. TransJakarta will focus on electrifying low-entry 12-metre and medium-low-entry 8- metre buses until 2023. From 2023–25, the focus will be on the deployment of high-floor BRT 12-metre buses and Microtrans 5-metre buses. Retrofitting of the existing internal combustion engine (ICE) buses into electric ones will commence from 2025 onwards.

Table 4 provides information on TransJakarta’s year-wise bus deployment plan.

Given the current lag in deployment, TransJakarta will have to accelerate the acquisition of additional electric buses to fully electrify its fleet by 2030. As per the plan, half of the total number of electric buses are expected to be deployed by 2025.

Procurement model – Leasing

Based on international practices, TransJakarta is exploring the procurement model wherein the acquisition and supply of electric buses is separated from their operation and maintenance.  Leasing by non-utility companies is considered to be the most suitable arrangement for the rapid deployment of electric buses. This would require a structural change in procurement processes as well as a guaranteed lease payment structure set up by TransJakarta for the lessors. TransJakarta will select the operators based on the lowest bus operating cost. The lessor can lease the electric buses to any operator for a period of 10–15 years at a fixed lease cost per bus and can lease the electric buses to another bus operator in case the current operator fails to make payments. This will ensure bus operations regardless of the financial capacity of the operator.

The charging company will provide electric charging services to the operator. In turn, the operator will pay for the charging service.

Figure 1 depicts the lease-based procurement model.

Proposed financing options

TransJakarta has estimated an investment requirement of around USD278 billion to implement the complete bus electrification plan, with an average requirement of USD325 million per year and a maximum requirement of USD475 million in 2023.

Figure 2 depicts the investment requirements for deployment of electric buses.

Source: ‘Procurement of Electric Buses by TransJakarta’

A 12-metre electric bus costs around USD350,000. Considering a 60:40 debt equity structure, the operator needs to invest upfront USD140,000 per electric bus, equivalent to almost five times the equity required for a diesel bus. Simultaneously, the debt requirement is also USD210,000 per bus, which is higher by USD90,000 per bus as compared to a diesel bus.

Figure 3 depicts the year-wise debt and equity financing requirements for deployment of electric buses.

Source: ‘Procurement of Electric Buses by TransJakarta’

Given the high debt and equity funding requirements, TransJakarta’s operators will not be able to arrange the financing under the current BTS model, beyond the initial trial of 100 electric buses. The present financing pattern is not adequate for meeting the financing needs of the electric buses because the lenders may not be willing to invest in a new technology due to the structure of the BTS contract wherein the operator takes on the entire risk. Further, the operators do not have the capacity to meet the equity requirements even if the debt financing could be arranged.

Hence, TransJakarta has been exploring new financing mechanisms from potential funding sources such as export credit agencies (ECAs), PT. Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero) (a state-owned company engaged in infrastructure project financing), multilateral development banks (MDBs), and development finance institutions (DFIs). For instance, UK Export Finance (UKEF), a UK-based ECA, has expressed interest in financing the electric bus programme. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and KfW Development Bank have also discussed with TransJakarta the possibility of financing the electric bus programme.

MDBs can provide loan and fund guarantees through a credit enhancement facility (CEF), or through equity participations for green funds. For instance, CEF can be used for the electric BRT programme in Greater Medan and Bandung where the World Bank has provided loans for establishing electric bus infrastructure.

Figure 4 depicts the proposed financing model to be explored by TransJakarta.

Source: Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

Other collaborations

TransJakarta has also collaborated with various bus manufacturers and operators for the deployment of electric buses. Some of the recent collaborations are:

  • In August 2022, TransJakarta signed an agreement with VKTR Teknologi Mobilitas and Equipmake Limited to convert diesel buses to electric buses. Initially, the buses will be retrofitted as prototypes and will be operated on a trial basis by TransJakarta. After the successful completion of the trials, 3,000 existing buses will be retrofitted.
  • In May 2022, TransJakarta signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Switch Mobility Limited to achieve net-zero      emission through the deployment of electric buses. Under the MoU, Switch Mobility will test its buses on a TransJakarta route in accordance with the testing and operational requirements of TransJakarta’s applicable Minimum Service Standards (SPM).

Going forward

TransJakarta’s large-scale bus electrification efforts are expected to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, to reduce the entity’s operational expenditure by 26 per cent, and to increase Greater Jakarta’s grid margin capacity by 1.39 per cent. The efforts are also expected to promote social equity.

However, such a large-scale bus fleet transitioning programme comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, nearly a third of the electric fleet of TransJakarta in 2030 will comprise microbuses. But as of now, all microbus fleets still use ICE engines. Microbus electrification is a more complex process and requires addressing more complex social issues.

Further, to ensure the successful deployment of electric buses, TransJakarta needs to select a business model that enables the achievement of financial and operational sustainability. TransJakarta is exploring a ‘lease-based procurement model’ that allows separation of ownership and management of operations, which is essential for efficient functioning. This model is expected to ensure proper risk assessment and mitigation through the allocation of regulatory, control, financing, and operation and maintenance responsibilities between the concerned parties in a clear and efficient manner.

(1 IDR [Indonesian Rupiah] = USD0.00007)