JAKARTA - The accident that killed two 18-year-old youths, Ammar Nawar and Wisnu Chandra Gunawan gave birth to two views on the use of electric scooters, especially GrabWheels on the streets of the capital. Some people clearly feel concern. The rest, remain infatuated.
We try to experience GrabWheels in the midst of the two feelings that are spreading in society today. Before we can rent an electric scooter unit, we first download the Grab application to access the operation of an electric scooter.
We were in the Menteng area, Central Jakarta when the application started installing on our smart phones. In the application, there were detected more than ten shelters nearby. Most of the shelters were set up attached to a cafe. We also chose the shelter in front of the Tigalima cafe, Jalan Wahid Hasyim, Gondangdia, Central Jakarta.
There are five units of electric scooters available at the shelter. Three units are ready to use. The rest are in the middle of charging electricity. Unfortunately, we did not find a single GrabWheels officer on guard. We also ask for help from cafe employees. Irfan, his name.
To us, Irfan explained, the Tigalima cafe has collaborated with Grab to provide the GrabWheels shelter. According to Irfan, the cafe is also responsible for ensuring the availability of electric power from the scooter.
"There are no GrabWheels officers here. So, if there are scooter users who are confused about how to use them, we can help explain. We also regularly charge the electric scooters," said Irfan, Tuesday, November 19.
the journey is started
Before starting the trip, we first paid off the payment. And of course, all payments must be made with the OVO electronic balance. Grab sets a tariff of IDR 5,000 per 30 minutes of rental period. Every 30 minutes thereafter a multiple of Rp. 5,000 applies.
After paying off the payment, we scan the code (barcode) printed on the scooter to activate it. Next, we carefully read the instructions for use. Among these regulations, we highlight some important pointers regarding the use of brakes, gas and lamps in the unit.
Grab also appealed to GrabWheels users to take the left lane when driving on the highway. In addition, Grab also prohibits electric scooters from being boarded by more than one person. The last clue is ironic. In its appeal, Grab asks users to wear helmets while driving.
Irony, because the shelter manager we visited did not provide helmets. We who were in the middle began to feel a certain tendency regarding the feelings we were experiencing. We are starting to worry, like the few people who were affected by the deadly accident in the Gelora Bung Karno area, Senayan, Central Jakarta, some time ago.
However, we are moving forward. To start the road, we had to push the scooter a little with our feet. Then, we press the green button on the right hand wheel to operate the gas. Note to us that it takes a little force to push the scooter to get the gas hooked when the green button is pressed.
At 15.55 WIB, we started our journey, entering the highway around Wahid Hasyim. Amid the congested traffic, we felt safe. Not many vehicles passing by that interfere with the speed of our electric scooters. After leaving the streets around Wahid Hasyim, we walked along Jalan Cemara, then headed through Jalan Cendana.
On that trip, we ran out of gas and found 16 kilometers to be the highest speed our electric scooters could get. With this speed, we increasingly know that GrabWheels is not really a commuter vehicle that is suitable for use in the middle of the highway.
The speed was even below the top speed we could reach on the mountain bikes - which we were used to - seven-gear speed bikes. And of course the bike feels safer to us. On top of the GrabWheels, we felt great vibrations as if our scooter tires were slack as they drove. We also have to keep both hands on the steering wheel.
Because, if one hand is removed from the steering wheel, the balance suddenly shakes immediately. With that condition, we continue to go on the slow lane. Spend Jalan Cendana and drive on the Teuku Umar Roundabout to Taman Suropati.
Our journey continues to Jalan Diponegoro. This road made us calm a little. Because, there we can find a bicycle path. The calm was maintained until we penetrated Imam Bonjol Street around the General Election Commission (KPU) building and drove to the Hotel Indonesia (HI) roundabout.
When we arrived at the HI Roundabout, we crossed towards Sudirman and continued our journey to Jalan MH Thamrin. The police on duty directed us to use the pelican crossing to get to the opposite lane. "Don't pass the HI Roundabout, it's dangerous. Look for a red light and just cross with pedestrians," he said.
The warning of danger didn't end there. One hundred meters from the HI Roundabout, we found a pelican crossing and waited until the Transportation Service officer (Dishub) allowed it to cross. While waiting, a man in a white shirt tapped us on the shoulder.
"Be careful, you know. The danger (scooters) if used on the highway," he said. We replied with smiles. The smile that actually made us realize that many people are really worried about using GrabWheels.
The afternoon on Jalan MH Thamrin, which has no bicycle lane, makes us awkward. The flow of vehicles keeps us stuck in the left lane. The absence of sign lights and mirrors limited our movement. At the traffic light in front of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) building, then we were able to cross to the Sarinah building. We returned to Jalan Wahid Hasyim and crossed Jalan Sabang, continued to Jalan Jaksa and returned to Jalan Wahid Hasyim, the Tigalima shelter.
It seems that the accident some time ago had a huge impact on the feeling of driving GrabWheels this time. Not only for us, but also for the many people we meet along the way. And the journey is over. Anxiety enveloped us. We didn't even care about the heat of the afternoon sun in the long dry season. Unconsciously, we were sweating quite a lot.
With a break every 15 minutes, we traveled an hour and 18 minutes. The journey ends. We paid Rp. 15 thousand for the trip. And we returned safely to the Tigalima shelter.