Ergonomics Application in IKN Public Transport

Ergonomics Application in IKN Public Transport
By Salma Salsabila Az Zahra

The first development stage of Ibu Kota Negara (IKN) Nusantara, located in Penajam Paser Utara, East Kalimantan, is planned to be completed in 2024. The development carried out at this first stage includes the main infrastructure which is government facilities, and basic infrastructure that will be ready to be inhabited by 500 thousand residents.

A city with a green and smart concept needs adequate, integrated, smart and environmentally friendly public transportation to facilitate the mobility of its residents, especially in the Central Government Core Area (KIPP). Public transport itself is a passenger transportation service available for use by the general public. Quoting from, the government has prepared several transportation modes for IKN with guaranteed high levels of service affordability. The transportation modes are airport trains and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) or Light Rail Transit (LRT) for inter-city corridors, intercity buses, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for Sumbu Kebangsaan and city corridor, minibuses for government sub-block corridors, and tourism buses.

User comfort and safety are important factors that need to be considered when designing transportation. This design can be carried out using an ergonomic approach. Ergonomics is the study of designing a work system by systematically aligning the place, environment, equipment, and work procedures based on human characteristics, abilities and limitations so that they can work safely, comfortably, and effectively.

Ergonomic public transportation systems have several criteria that must be met, such as vehicle comfort, vehicle safety while traveling, vehicle reliability, the convenience of station and stop, clear information, and an integrated system. In fulfilling these criteria, it is also important to consider the economic side and the vehicle’s capacity. Without proper ergonomic design, the passengers can be exposed to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) risks, such as discomfort, body pain, and even non-collision injuries, especially for passengers with certain conditions, like pregnant women, persons needing wheelchair assistance, the elderly, etc. In evaluating risk factors related to musculoskeletal disorders, several methods can be used, which are the Rapid Entire Body Assessment Method (REBA), Rapid Upper Limb Assessment Method (RULA), and so on.

Ergonomic design is typically inseparable from the application of anthropometric principles, which is the science of human physical measurements. Anthropometry is numerical data of the human body’s physical characteristics consisting of size, shape, and strength. Usually, principles of anthropometry are used along with Quality Function Deployment (QFD). It is a systematic method for identifying customers’ needs and requirements, then translating them into specific requirements in producing products that satisfy the customers’ demands. Through this method, it is possible to comply with ergonomic principles while minimizing costs.

The ergonomic design has three principles based on its purpose, which are design for extremes, average, and adjustability. For example, the average principle can be used in designing passenger seats because of varied anthropometric dimensions, so it is practical and more cost-efficient. The design of public vehicle features that take into account ergonomic principles includes handlebars, side door handles, ramps, doors, chair handles, seats, vehicle interior layouts, and so on. With advances in technology, the safety of public vehicles also can be improved by using the accident damage detection feature which allows the operator to detect any irregularities in the vehicle. Improvement in public transport security systems can also be achieved by equipping covert microphones, radio communication, silent alarms, and video surveillance inside the vehicle.

The application of ergonomics principles in public transportation infrastructure is no less important. For example, waiting chair facilities at stations and stops require an ergonomic design that is adapted to the availability of space and capacity needs. The dimensions of height, width, and length need to be adjusted to the public’s anthropometry data of legs, back, and so on, so that it will be safe and comfortable to use, as well as suitable for high-passenger mobility. It is also important to use the right materials that can support the user’s load properly, are comfortable to sit on, and are environmentally friendly.

Clear information is also part of ergonomics. The information is usually conveyed in the form of displays that are redundant/repetitive through writing, images, colors, sounds, or even combinations. The purpose of media combination is to allow information to be received by several senses at once and to prevent information from not being delivered if one of the display media is degraded. The information must be conveyed clearly to passengers, drivers, operators, and public transportation administrators. Information that is needed by mass passengers includes the vehicle code name, current station, next station, final station, route traveled by the vehicle, overall route map, travel schedule, travel time, station layout including entry/exit door, and so on. The information displayed must be presented in a location that is easy to see, with comprehensible fonts, symbols, and language.

The advanced technologies that will be presented in this smart city surely will play a major role in supporting the citizens’ daily life, including the media for conveying information. This technology enables the integration of existing information systems which is also an important factor in the ergonomics of public transportation. For instance, IKN can utilize the Traveler Information System (TIS) for its public transport network. TIS is up-to-date information about current roadway conditions, including travel times, delays, incidents, weather, emergency alerts, and alternate routes based on real-time data from automated in-vehicle location devices. This system allows drivers to be able to determine the route that will be taken, and passengers to view schedule information, such as arrival and departure times, delays, or service changes. The Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system at TIS also can assist operators in managing schedules, routes, and vehicle locations.

An integrated and practical ticketing system, such as mobile ticketing and practical Electronic Fare Payments (EFP) can also improve passenger comfort. Another example of system integration is smart traffic lights management which uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology. So, those are examples of ergonomics principles that can be used in the planning and development of public transport in IKN.


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