The Indonesian Government will increase the cost of ferry crossings nation-wide effective December 1, 2007, including the ferry crossings between Ketapang (East Java) - Gimimanuk (West Bali) and Padang Bai (East Bali) and Lembar (West Lombok).
In announcing the fare hikes which will affect 22 inter-island crossings in Indonesia operated by 198 ships, the Minister of Transportation Jusman Safei Djamal, said the increases were necessary to stem the losses now being suffered by the Nation's ferry operators.
Government regulations allow the Minister to review ferry tariffs every six months. The last increase in fares took place on November 1, 2006.
The increase of 18-20% to be introduced in December is much less than the 79% hike requested by ferry operators who are finding it increasingly challenging to meet operating costs, let alone finance the cost of renewing their aging armadas with a more modern fleet of inter-island vessels.
The increase in fares will apply on all economy class tickets, motor vehicle charges and the carriage of freight and heavy vehicles.
The Chairman of the National Land Transportation Organization (Organda), Murphy Hutagalung, told Kompas that land transportation operators will be hard hit by the new ferry tariffs. Already faced by declining passenger loads, inter-city bus operators are also burdened by the rising cost of fuel and spare parts.
"We must also cover the cost of illegal levies," complained Hutagalung.
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