Quantifying the Impacts of COVID-19 Mobility Restrictions on Ridership and Farebox Revenues: The Case of Mass Rapid Transit in Jakarta, Indonesia

7 Agustus 2021

Author: Yusuf Sofiyandi, Yusuf Reza Kurniawan, Khoirunurrofik Khoirunurrofik, Prayoga Wiradisuria, and Dikki Nur Ahmad Saleh

 

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of mobility restriction on daily mass rapid transit (MRT) ridership in Jakarta-Indonesia, and its implication for the farebox revenues during the pandemic COVID-19 outbreak. For the analysis, we primarily used the fare cost and daily passenger datasets of 156 origin-destination pair routes from April 2019 to May 2021. Three types of mobility restrictions are examined: (i) 50% of maximum passenger capacity setting, (ii) station closures, and (iii) changes in service operating hours. A panel dynamic fixed-effects regression model was fitted to quantify the economic losses on farebox revenue due to the mobility restrictions. We find that the average daily MRT ridership decrease by 56.6% due to capacity restriction, 32.6% due to station closures, and 1.7% due to a one-hour decrease in service operating hours. The station closures lead to a route diversion with a significant increase in ridership among other stations. While the effects of capacity restriction and changes in service operation hours have a larger impact during weekdays, the effect of station closure is more pronounced during the weekend. Our estimation results also reveal that the mobility restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a loss of IDR 179.4 billion or equal to USD12.4 million in terms of potential farebox revenues to the MRT train service operator. This amount could contribute to 65.6% of total realized farebox revenues in 2019–2020. This finding suggests the importance of adjusting the tariff subsidy policy in times of crisis, considering that the company still bears the operating costs despite decreasing operating hours. It also advises the company to take this crisis as momentum to enhance operational efficiency and expand the business prospect from non-fare box revenue.

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