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Suroboyo Bus: A Breakthrough in Green Transportation

Suroboyo Bus

Honoured as one of the world’s best mayors in 2014, Tri Rismaharini has successfully improved Surabaya, the city where she governs, through the development of a plethora of green open spaces and vital infrastructures as well as a massive revamp of the governmental system.

Risma’s concern about urban planning has motivated her to turn Surabaya into a smart city which not only emphasises the rapid transformation of the city’s development, but also the mindset of the people. She believes that good habits of the people can help accelerate the quality of the city.

Therefore, she has introduced programs to raise people’s awareness about certain issues, such as environment, technology, and many others. One of them is establishing Suroboyo Bus, an eco-friendly yet fashionable way to travel.

Launched on April 7, 2018, Suroboyo Bus offers green transportation which allows passengers to buy their ticket with plastic bottles. Passengers may bring their used plastic bottles as a means of payment for their travel or exchange their plastic bottles at several bus stops, such as Purabaya Terminal, Park and Ride Mayjend, Sungkono Bus Stop, and Rajawali Bus Stop, or selected waste banks in Surabaya.

One ticket equals three large-sized plastic bottles of 1.5l, five medium-sized plastic bottles of 600ml, or ten bottles of 240ml. Since the number of plastic bottles needed is quite high, it’s suggested to exchange them at the nearest stop to then be given stamps to use as tickets for the bus ride. One stamp covers the rider for two hours of journeying on selected routes.

This public transportation system serves three routes, namely the South-North route, East-West route, and Middle East Ring Road (MERR) route. The South-North route starts from Purabaya Terminal and ends at Rajawali Bus Stop and then heads back to Purabaya Terminal again. If you’re planning to do some sightseeing in the city, this is the best route as it passes several tourist attractions, such as Surabaya Zoo, the Library of Bank Indonesia, Taman Bungkul, Tunjungan Plaza, Gedung Nasional Indonesia, Tugu Pahlawan, House of Sampoerna, Museum of Health, and the Red Bridge area.

The East-West route starts from ITS Bus Stop and ends at Unesa Bus Stop and then goes back to Unesa Bus Stop again. This route is the best route for college students as it stops at the area of several leading universities in Surabaya, such as Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Universitas Airlangga (Unair), and Universitas Negeri Surabaya (Unesa). The last route starts from Kenjeran Beach and ends at Gununganyar and then goes back to Kenjeran Beach.

Suroboyo Bus has two kinds of vehicles: the first one is a red-coloured, single deck bus and the other is an orange-coloured double-decker bus. Both buses are operated every day from 06.00 – 22.00. For extra convenience, install the Gobis application from Google Play or App Store on to your gadget to get the real-time timetable of the buses because they are equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers. You can locate yourself by scanning the Quick Response (QR) code of the nearest bus stop in order to predict which bus will be next along to pick you up. You can also follow Suroboyo Bus on Instagram @suroboyobus for any further information about the buses.

Not only eco-friendly, Suroboyo Bus is also sophisticated as it is equipped with modern technology. At a length of 12 metres and width of 2.4 metres, Suroboyo Bus is integrated with the Surabaya Intelligent Transportation System (SITS) which allows traffic lights to turn green every time the system detects any signal from the bus. Thus, it can roam around in the middle of the traffic jams freely.

Moreover, it is monitored by twelve Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras; eight inside and four CCTVs outside the bus. Those CCTVs are able to capture any criminal scene which can then be connected with authorised officers so that they can arrest suspects at the next stop. In terms of safety, the doors of the bus are equipped with automatic sensors to prevent them from closing when there are people around. In case of emergency, the driver would press the emergency button to ring the alarm and open the doors so that the passengers can get off the bus.

The bus itself is very comfortable as it is fully air-conditioned and has an entertainment screen with sound. In order to minimise any sexual harassment attempts, Suroboyo Bus has set a unique seating arrangement. The front, pink-coloured seats are for women and children, the middle red-coloured seats are priority seating, and the back orange-coloured seats are for men and others. Suroboyo Bus can accommodate more than 60 people with extensive space in the middle for wheelchairs and baggage. The driver and conductor are also very helpful and responsive, especially handling people with disabilities and pregnant women as well as people with big luggage.

To this day, Suroboyo Bus is still claimed to be effective in reducing plastic waste in Surabaya. According to Kompas, approximately 39 tons of plastic bottles were collected by January 2019 and those plastic bottles were worth Rp150 million. Indeed, the number of collected plastic bottles fluctuates as it depends on the number of passengers each day. For example, during the weekdays the number is increasing as more people are commuting to work or school whereas less people are travelling during the weekends.

The plastic bottles from several bus stops and waste banks are brought to a recycling site in Osowilangun to be collected. Firstly, the officers weigh the collected plastic bottles and then sort them out by their size, colour, type, and even the shape of the bottle caps in order to meet market demands. After all the plastic bottles are sorted, the officers will sell them to plastic industries to be recycled. Suroboyo Bus is a good example of where a green bus can contribute in reducing plastic waste and raise people’s awareness in leading a green lifestyle.

Images: Instagram of Suroboyo Bus

See: Jakarta-Surabaya Semi-Fast Train to be Constructed in 2023

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