As of April this year, residents of Surabaya can pay for the bus in a fascinating way – by trading in used plastic.
Tri Rismaharini, Surabaya’s mayor, announced in April announced the launch of the new Suroboyo Buses, which are accessible for disabled, elderly and pregnant passengers.
Passengers are also invited to pay for their rides not just with money, but with plastic they turn in at designated bus stops and recycling stations around the city.
“Passengers can travel around Surabaya for two hours for free,” Risma said as quoted by Indonesia’s Antara News agency. The government seeks to reduce private vehicles – which currently consist of 75% of traffic on the roads – to 50/50 with public transportation.
“This is our commitment in handling plastic waste that cannot be destroyed for hundreds of years,” added Risma.
Back in 2015, Risma was recognised as one of the world’s best mayors “for energetically promoting her social, economic and environmental policies in Indonesia’s second-largest city.”
The previous year, she closed down one of Southeast Asia’s largest red-light district known as Dolly and turned much of the area into kindergartens and playgrounds.
Risma has also overseen the establishment of public parks in a number of unused public spaces which provide WiFi, libraries and sport facilities.