Pandemic and Homecoming Ban Bring Misery for Bus Drivers

It has been five days, but Taryo has not sent allowance for her wife in Cilacap. His income as a bus driver Cilacap-Tangerang route has significantly decreased to the point he can only use them to fulfill his daily needs.

Taryo, a Tangerang-Cilacap route bus driver.
Taryo, a Tangerang-Cilacap route bus driver. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, SOUTH TANGERANG – It has been five days, but Taryo has not sent allowance for her wife in Cilacap. His income as a bus driver Cilacap-Tangerang destination has significantly decreased to the point he can only use them to fulfill his daily needs. Meanwhile, Eid Al-Fitr is just a matter of days, and needless to say he needs money to support his family ahead of Eid.

“My youngest son just called me, he asked me ‘dad do you buy peci (skull cap) for Eid or not?’” said Tayo, telling about his youngest 4-year-old son.

Before the pandemic, Taryo used to carry 30 passengers per trip, also drove the bus in a round trip Cilacap-Tangerang from Pondok Cabe Bus Station South Tangerang City. After he dropped the passengers off, he could go back to his house to meet his family and relieve his stress. The money from ticket selling was used for the fuel and toll road fares while the profit was split into half with the bus owner.

However, in this pandemic, there are usually only 15 to 20 passengers, and this affects Taryo’s income. He has to stay for days in the bus station waiting for the passengers to come. 

The homecoming prohibition from May 6 to 17 has made it even more difficult for Taryo. He is short of passengers and can only wait for the owner's instruction and the government regulation. He really wants to take some passengers so that he can bring enough money for his family.

“If I really can’t have a trip to drive, then going back to my homeland and waiting for the office instruction is the only solution. Maybe this is just my fate,” added Taryo.

Taryo couldn't do much this Ramadan aside from becoming a bus driver. If he has to go back to his homeland, the only choice he has is to take care of his small farm while waiting for the callback to drive the bus again.[]