"We need some improvement and creativity, say through advertisements, renting TOD places (transit oriented development) and other ways," Sumadi said during a working visit to Bogor-Sukabumi, West Java, Friday.
PT KCI President Director Wiwik Widayanti agreed that the income from trains still relied on passenger tickets, and that the contribution from other sources was still very small.
Widayanti said her party had begun partnerships to advertise on KRL commercial spaces. "We have started accepting advertisements on some of our trains," she said.
This could reduce the burden on the State Budget (APBN), considering that currently, the largest public service subsidy (PSO) is for urban trains, and in this case, it is absorbed by the operation of the electric train (KRL).
"The corporation needs to get creative and stop relying on the state budget," Sumadi said.
The PSO allocation for the Economy Class Service Railroad Transportation Sector in the Budget 2019 is IDR 2.3 trillion, of which IDR 1.6 trillion is for urban trains.
The Minister of Transportation was of the view that despite the current operation of the economy-class KRL and train being subsidized, service must not suffer. He said, "Although it is subsidized, service must be as good as it is in other sections, such as the VIP section. Those serving passengers must smile and be polite, and not be rude and persuasive. Our service must be as good as it is in private companies."