Commitment key to improving public transportation, by Darmaningtyas, Jakarta Post Mon, 20/12/10
Transportation problems in Indonesia, particularly in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Bandung, Makassar and Medan, undoubtedly lie in the dominance of private vehicles, both cars and motorbikes, and in the limited number of mass public transportation available.
In Jakarta, for instance, mass public transportation accounts for only 2 percent of a total of 9 million vehicles, and the rest are private vehicles. This overwhelming number of private cars and motorbikes causes traffic congestion in Jakarta. The imbalance ratio between private and public transportation leads to more problems, such as productive time and fuel waste, high stress levels, acute upper respiratory diseases and crimes. Various crimes such as car hijacking and robberies take place during traffic jams.
The Jakarta government knows exactly the solution to the problem of traffic congestion. It has introduced the Macro Transportation Pattern (Pola Transportasi Makro/PTM) concept, which identifies problems and suggests solutions to improve the transportation system in Jakarta. In addition to building more roads, the concept offers several steps to solve traffic congestion, primarily the step to build a mass public transportation such as the MRT, BRT, trains and water ways.
The phases of building mass public transportation have been initiated, firstly by building the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), popularly known as the busway. The PTM has set a target of building 15 busway corridors by 2010, followed by the construction of monorails and the MRT. If the target is met, we can hope to see the traffic congestion problem solved.
The water way program was launched before governor Sutiyoso completed his term in 2007. However, the program was revoked by his successor Governor Fauzi Bowo who viewed the project as unfeasible. Instead of canceling the program and returning the boats to Thousand Islands, Fauzi should have made the water way program feasible, for instance by dredging the river to make the water flow stable so that boats could run through it.
The question that always pops to mind is why the Jakarta administration choose the busway construction as priority opposed to the MRT, trains or monorails which have a much bigger capacity? The answer is clear: It is much cheaper and faster to construct busway than the others. If the busway capacity can be maximized, as in the case of Bogota, it will not be much different from MRT’s capacity.
The following is a comparison of mass transportation characteristics based on speed, cost and load capacity. Based on the comparison, it is clear that the decision to construct a busway is the most appropriate choice. Therefore, it is not necessary to debate on this matter. What is incorrect is when the construction of the busway is limited to constructing lanes, instead of a complete BRT system, which includes the development of feeder transport, electronic ticketing and control rooms, which are essential in controlling the operation of the busway to avoid passengers overload in certain spots or under capacity in other spots.
What has been going on in Jakarta for the past seven years is the construction of merely the lanes, not the whole system. Constructing a complete BRT system is not a difficult task, provided there is a strong political commitment from the governor.
If we look at the issue closer, the Jakarta government’s failure to construct a complete BRT system is attributed to the absence of commitment from the decision maker, in this case Governor Fauzi. First, he did not built any lanes during his first three years of office. Instead, he cancelled the plan to construct three busway corridors with the excuse that it was difficult to secure the location. Second, the problem of electronic ticketing in Corridor IV-VIII has not been solved because of conflicts of interest. The local government wants the province-owned Bank DKI Jakarta to handle the ticketing while the bank does not have the experience or the capacity to do so.
The delay on solving ticketing issue shows that the governor does not have the commitment to put an end to this problem. Had the governor possessed strong commitment, this would have been an easy issue to resolve: Leave Bank DKI Jakarta and find another company from the private sector that can manage electronic ticketing.
The experience of TransJogja in Yogyakarta shows it is very easy to have a functioning electronic ticketing system because it costs only Rp 1.2 billion to manage the two lanes that it runs. Why does Jakarta insist on Bank DKI Jakarta? The same goes with constructing control rooms. It is very easy and cheap to build them, but why has it never been realized? Control rooms are very important to avoid inefficiency in bus operation and passenger-overload at bus stops.
Efforts to improve public transportation to woo private vehicle users to move to public transportation are the responsibility of not only the local government, but the central government, which includes the Transportation Ministry, the Coordinating Economics Minister’s Office, the Public Works Ministry, the Industry Ministry, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Ministry. The synergy among those ministries is imperative, because they are supporting one another.
The issue of subsidy, including a tax waive for public transportation, is the domain of the Finance Ministry. Infrastructure (including roads) is the domain of the Public Works Ministry. The availability of means (busses or trains within the country) falls under the Industry Ministry. Cheaper fuel and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for public transportation, compared to those for personal vehicles, is the domain of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. As for the management of government-owned public transportation that does not aim for profits but for public service, it depends on the political will of the SOE Ministry. The Transportation Ministry holds the authority to issue permits, purchase (some) of the public vehicles and place road signs. Without good coordination among those ministries, it will be difficult to set up a reliable system of public transportation.
Likewise, the current poor policy of the TransJakarta busway is not merely the responsibility of the Jakarta governor. It is also the responsibility of the central government that does not provide adequate CNG. As a consequence, TransJakarta buses need at least two hours a day just to refuel. The issue of providing CNG is the domain of the Energy and Mineral Resources, the SOE and the Coordinating Economics Minister’s Office. The same goes with Jabodetabek Electric Trains. PT KCJ as the operator with the support from the Transportation Ministry is capable of providing trains that guarantee headway of every five minutes by 2011. However, they still face problems in dealing with crossings on the same road and limited electrical supplies.
The Public Works Ministry is responsible for constructing the infrastructure for the crossings and the state electricity company (PLN) under the SOE Ministry is responsible for providing electrical supplies. Thus, improvements in public transportation will not happen if it is entrusted to one department only, for example, the Transportation Ministry or the Transportation Agency. There must be a mutual commitment to create good public transportation. If I were the coordinating economics minister, I would decide to phase out subsidized fuel by January 2011, including for motorbikes. If the fuel for motorbikes is subsidized, people will turn to motorbikes and this will lead to more traffic problems.
To facilitate people mobilization, I would allocate 10 percent of the budget originally earmarked for fuel subsidy to improve public transportation (buses, trains, ships) so that our public transportation is safe, comfortable and affordable. Whereas another 20 percent of the budget originally allocated for fuel subsidy will be added to the existing education and health budget so that our community stays healthy and smart and so it does not have to pay more for healthcare. Only with a strong commitment can our ublic transportation move private vehicles owners to public transportation.
Unfortunately, the public has not yet been made aware that there is a collective responsibility to improve public transportation. Even among intellectuals, many still think that the responsibility rests with the Transportation Ministry. In fact, the 2009 Land Transportation Law limits the role of the Transportation Ministry in providing the means and resources of transportation, while the rest is collectively assumed by other stakeholders.
The public needs a new horizon, a clear direction and the right goals in the quest for better public transportation.
The writer is a transportation observer at the Institute for Transportation Studies (Instrans).
Maybe a decent metro system would help?
President sets 2020 deadline to solve Jakarta’s traffic woes
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta 22/02/11
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono set a deadline of 2020 for Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo to fix the city’s massive traffic problem. “This is a major task for the governor. Jakarta’s traffic problems must be alleviated by 2020,” Yudhoyono said Tuesday.
The President said the Jakarta administration should be able to make significant changes by 2014 to improve the city’s traffic. He called for new infrastructure to be built in the capital and stressed the importance of credible traffic management. “I know this is not easy. There are developing countries with more cars than us but they have better management. We should learn [from them],” he said, as quoted by kompas.com.
He also told Fauzi to accelerate the construction of traffic-managing infrastructure and to complete all the delayed construction that so far has been neglected. “There needs to be a solution. We can find new investors,” Yudhoyono said.
Commuter Rail, MRT, Shuttles, Monorail and Bigger Busway for Jakarta by 2030? by Ulma Haryanto Jakarta Globe May 05, 2012
Imagine dropping your child off at a bus stop on your way to work in the morning, instead of driving all the way to school. Then imagine leaving your car at a parking facility where you can hop on a commuter train into the city center. Once you arrive, you have time to grab a coffee before a quick stroll over to the subway platform and a 10-minute ride to your office building — all before 8 a.m. It may sound far-fetched, but this is how city planners envision Jakarta’s transportation system in 20 years.
The mass rapid transit rail line may be the star of the entire integrated show, but planners note that Jakarta first needs an efficient way to bring commuters into the city to use it. That’s where the commuter rail line, or KRL, comes in. The Greater Jakarta transportation master plan for 2030, drawn up by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, lists at least 27 KRL projects, including the construction of an outer ring railway running 100 kilometers around Jakarta’s satellite cities and costing Rp 20 trillion ($2.18 billion).
In addition, existing railway lines will be “double-double tracked,” or expanded to four parallel lines, while 160 extra train cars will be imported. “We also plan to revitalize all stations, including by expanding platforms to accommodate at least two additional cars,” says Mateta Rizalulhaq, a spokesman for railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia. The short-term aim is to triple daily passenger numbers from the current 400,000 to 1.2 million by next year. Once inside the city center, commuters will be able to take either the MRT or the bus rapid transit network, popularly known as the busway.
The busway network now stretches 135 kilometers but will be expanded to 435 kilometers under the master plan, making it the longest in Asia. The Jakarta Transportation Office plans to add 178 buses by 2013 while the central government will build more refueling stations — a key requirement, says the Presidential Working Unit for Development, Supervision and Oversight (UKP4), which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the master plan. “Fifty percent of the time that buses are on the road is spent going to and from refueling stations, which is why it’s been hard to reduce headway times,” says Farchad Mahfud, from the UKP4.
For those still intent on driving into the city, the master plan offers park-and-ride facilities at some bus stops and train stations. Three are already in operation, with 20 more to be built by 2030, and the city transportation office is calling for private operators to get involved.
A final link in the envisioned integrated transportation network has been on and off the table for years: the monorail. Two lines were initially proposed. Construction on the green line was halted for lack of investment, while the blue line was scrapped and its proposed route taken over by an elevated road. However, the master plan still lists the 14.3-kilometer green line and 7 kilometers of extensions.
Well, Jakarta already have JABOTABEK commuter networks but it needs further expansion in addition to Airport Link
Subway will be added by the end of 2016-17 even though it will not reached Kota terminal of JABOTABEK commuter networks until around 2020.
Long term it does make sense to replace some of the BRT routes with Light rail, something which was mooted at the start of the BRT project. Korridor 1 would be the most obvious.
Council says Jakarta should have LRT to ease traffic by Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post November 01 2012
The Jakarta Transportation Council (DTKJ) has proposed introducing a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system to make up for the weaknesses of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). DTKJ transportation expert Iskandar Abubakar said an LRT could carry more passengers than Transjakarta buses. “The total capacity of an LRT is 80,000 passengers per hour, while for Transjakarta buses it is only 25,000 people per hour and for a monorail it is only 40,000,” he said at a discussion on Wednesday.
In addition, he said, as an LRT used rail tracks in lanes, it would be impossible for cars, motorcycles or public buses to take over its space. “The lanes of Transjakarta are often used by vehicles, but that wouldn’t be the case with an LRT. This would definitely cut travel times, and passengers wouldn’t have to wait too long anymore,” Iskandar said. Private cars, motorcycles and public buses often use Transjakarta lanes, thus disrupting the headway.
Iskandar suggested it would be wise to try the LRT system in some of Transjakarta’s corridors that were not being used. “But we first need further study on this with the city administration. We will suggest it to the new governor,” he said.
A similar mode of public transportation, streetcars, were introduced in the city in 1869. They were initially pulled by horses and developed into steam-fueled streetcars in 1881 before being made electric in 1933. Streetcars used to operate along four routes, passing through Jatinegara, Harmoni, Pasar Baru and Tanah Abang. In the 1960s, former president Sukarno closed the service, saying that streetcars were not suitable for a city like Jakarta. Buses managed by state-owned bus company PPD replaced the streetcars. Most of the rail tracks have since been covered by asphalt.
Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) transportation expert Harun Alrasyid Lubis said that before introducing an LRT system, there should a comprehensive study on it in Jakarta given the city’s limited space. “If the administration wants to use an LRT, there should be studies on the tracks it would use, either building new lanes or using the existing tracks of Transjakarta,” he said. For new tracks, Harun said, the LRT could be used as a feeder to support other modes of public transportation, such as electric trains, adding that Transjakarta corridors 2, 3, 5, and 7 could be used as the lanes.
The Transportation Ministry’s railway planning division chief, Heru Wahyu Wibowo, said there should also be studies on demand and service allocation for all public transportation modes. “There must be specific patterns on which areas are served by which public transportation system so that there will not be an overlap and waste,” he said.
Separately, Transjakarta Management Authority chief Muhammad Akbar said the office planned to revert to using diesel in its 158 new buses in order to improve the service. “We don’t have enough LPG fuel stations, so it disrupts services,” he said. There are only four LPG stations to serve 477 Transjakarta buses. Each bus needs to refuel at least twice a day, whereas diesel-fueled buses need to fill up their tanks only once a day. “We must go with the plan if there is no improvement in gas supplies,” he said. Add CommentShare on facebook Share on twitter Share on email More Sharing Services
6 new toll roads= more traffic = more congestion
Planned elevated toll roads not designed for BRT, says developer, The Jakarta Post, November 22 2012
The six new inner-city toll roads that, if approved, will be constructed next year, are not designed to accommodate special lanes for the Transjakarta Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), according to PT Jakarta Tollroad Development (JTD) president director Frans Sunito.
Frans said the toll roads would have three lanes designated for private vehicles, just like other toll roads in the city. “There will be no special lanes for Transjakarta but the toll roads will be passable for buses and will be the first toll roads with several bus stops in the city,” he told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. “The bus stops will be integrated with existing public transportation stops such as train stations, bus terminals and Transjakarta shelters. We will install escalators at every bus stop to make it easier for passengers in getting to the stops [on the elevated toll roads],” he added.
The city administration’s plan to construct six elevated toll roads had sparked protests from urban planning and transportation experts, saying that the toll roads would not have an effect in eradicating traffic problems and would further encourage citizens to use private vehicles. Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that he had not yet decided whether to continue the plan initiated during the term of former governor Sutiyoso and that he was still studying the toll road project.
Jokowi said that he would agree with the toll road project as long as it was aimed at facilitating the BRT. “If the toll roads provide a special lane for [the BRT] then it is OK to build them. But I haven’t heard the details of the project,” Jokowi said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Elisa Sutanudjaja, an urban planning expert at Tarumanegara University and an activist at the Rujak Center for Urban Studies, said that Jokowi should cancel the toll road project as it would cause further problems for the city’s poor spatial management as well as damage the environment and public health. She added that the construction of the toll roads was not in line with the city’s newly launched free health care program. “The total expense of dealing with health problems caused by air pollution in Jakarta has reached Rp 38 trillion (US$3.93 billion) per year. Imagine if the administration approves this toll road plan. How much should they pay to cover healthcare services for the citizens who are sick because of polluted air?” questioned Elisa.
Firdaus Cahyadi from the Satu Dunia Foundation, an NGO focused on access to information for ordinary Indonesians, said that the toll roads project set a bad example for other cities in the archipelago. “What if other cities copied Jakarta and kept on constructing toll roads as a way of dealing with severe traffic jams? It’s an old way of overcome traffic issues,” he said. According to Firdaus, the administration should focus on developing public transportation.
The JTD’s Frans said he would not comment further on Jokowi’s statement, but added that the company would just wait until the study process was finished. The 67-kilometer-long inner-city toll roads that will connect all five of Jakarta’s municipalities are expected to begin construction next June.
The first phase of construction will include the 17.8-kilometer route from Semanan, West Jakarta to Sunter, North Jakarta, and the 11-kilometer route from Sunter to Bekasi. Duri Pulo, Central Jakarta and Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, as well as Kampung Melayu and Kemayoran, East Jakarta will also be linked to the second phase of the toll roads construction process. The third part of the project will connect Ulujami, South Jakarta, to Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, and the fourth will connect Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, to the Casablanca area in South Jakarta. (nad)
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Joko Urged to Veto Plan for New Roads by Ronna Nirmala, Jakarta Post | November 27, 2012
Despite saying that adding more roads are not a viable solution to solving Jakarta’s traffic woes, Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has conceded that a Rp 40 trillion ($4.2 billion) project to build six more toll roads should not be dismissed without a thorough review first. “We agree that simply adding more roads can’t solve [Jakarta’s traffic] problems. That’s why we’re focusing on adding more public transportation,” he said at City Hall on Monday. “But we can’t reject all proposals to build toll roads. [The plans for them] should still be studied.”
The Public Works Ministry has recently given the green light to build six more toll roads in Jakarta, under a plan first proposed by the administration of the former governor, Fauzi Bowo. Several groups, such as the Rujak Center for Urban Studies, have petitioned against the project and called on Basuki and Governor Joko Widodo to strike down the plan. The urban studies center argued that the toll roads would only benefit the owners of private vehicles, who account for 30 percent of the 18 million people working in Greater Jakarta.
The government “should prioritize the 70 percent non-private vehicle users,” the center said on its website, arguing that the city should focus on revamping public transportation. The group argued that more roads would only be a temporary solution and encourage more people to drive rather than use public transportation.
More than 3,500 people have signed an online petition against the construction of the toll roads, found on change.org. A coalition of groups, including Change.Org Indonesia, under the umbrella group One World, also demonstrated on Monday in front of City Hall. “The project is still being discussed, but if you look back at Joko’s campaign promises, he pledged to prioritize public transportation and spoke against the construction of toll roads, saying that they robbed people of their rights,” said Change.Org Indonesia co-founder Usman Hamid.
One World manager Firdaus said the funds used to finance the toll roads could be spent more effectively in improving public transportation in the city. “For every kilometer [of new roads] there will be 1,900 new cars. That’s what we’re protesting,” he said. “The government should maintain its focus on building mass transportation.” Prijanto, the former deputy governor, said his administration approved the toll roads on the condition that some sections would be open to public transportation. “The building of six toll roads will make people want to buy cars. But it all depends on the program,” he said.
The central government contends that the toll roads are necessary because the number of vehicles on the roads has been increasing by up to 30 percent a year, compared to the 0.01 percent expansion in the city’s road network each year. Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto recently said that road space in the capital should account for 10 to 20 percent of Jakarta’s total land area. It currently covers just 6.2 percent.
Joko is aiming for a 30-percent reduction in traffic congestion, based on a variety of traffic management policies. “Resolving the traffic problem is more than just about providing more public transportation,” he said last month. “It’s also about addressing traffic management, such as enforcing traffic rules.”
Jakarta looking to trial odd and even plate days to reduce traffic on select, key routes. Though some of the projections look optimistic it will be interesting to see how this unfolds if implemented. Also, watch for the various schemes rich drivers will use to subvert the restriction.
Jakartans to take turns driving, Andreas D. Arditya, The Jakarta Post, December 07 2012
The Jakarta administration is planning to impose a restriction that would limit cars on streets based on even-odd license plate numbers, beginning in March 2013 at the latest. The policy would temporarily replace the current “3-in-1” car pooling zones and would be effective from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays. It would also affect roads used by the Transjakarta Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and a number of other main roads.
Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo acknowledged that the policy was unpopular, but he believed it would help lessen traffic jams. “If we don’t try it, we will never know [the impact]. But we are not doing it without any studies or preparation,” he said on Thursday at City Hall after a meeting with representatives from the Jakarta Police, the Jakarta Transportation Council (DTKJ) and transportation experts.
In its implementation, cars with odd-numbered license plates will be banned on even dates and vice versa. The vehicles would be marked with stickers, red for odd numbers and green for even numbers. City Transportation Agency chief Udar Pristono said that the administration would coordinate with the police to enforce the policy. “The even-odd restriction would serve as a transition from the 3-in-1 policy and the Electronic Road Pricing [ERP],” he said.
Jokowi has been optimistic that the much anticipated ERP could be implemented next year following approval from the central government. The administration had been waiting for a Government Regulation (PP) drafted by the Finance Ministry regarding the ERP. One of the main obstacles holding back the implementation of the ERP scheme was that the road-pricing levy was not included as tax or retribution in the 2009 Regional Tax and Retribution Law. The initial plan for the scheme is for the ERP to be applied on main roads from Blok M in South Jakarta to Kota in West Jakarta during morning and afternoon rush hour on weekdays.
Udar said the agency had calculated that the restriction would increase the average speed on Jakarta’s roads from 16.8 kilometers per hour to 47 kilometers per hour and cut down roads affected by jams from 43.7 percent to 32.7 percent. The restriction is also expected to save up to Rp 8.85 trillion (US$920 million) worth of productive time and vehicle operational cost as well as 345,000 liters of subsidized fuel each year. The agency has also calculated that cutting almost half of the vehicles used each day would result in a need to provide an alternative for around 2.6 million person trips each day.
Udar said that the city would compensate by providing a total of around 500 new buses in the BRT, granting 1,000 new minibuses to replace decade-old public minibuses (Metromini and Kopaja), and integrating the minibus services to the BRT system.
Last edited by Yappofloyd; 08-12-12 at 12:13 PM.
The push for 70km of new toll roads in Jakarta slows as the new Gov hopefully prioritises the MRT?
Inner-city toll road project still in limbo, Sita W. Dewi, The Jakarta Post, 30 January 2013
The decision to construct at least one of the planned six inner-city toll roads is now in the hands of Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo after the meeting with the project stakeholders on Tuesday ended in deadlock. “Not yet,” he said after the closed-door meeting at City Hall, answering journalists’ questions about his final decision on the project’s fate. “This is not easy as it involves a Rp 42 trillion [US$4.3 billion] investment. I need more time [...] I will need one, two, probably six days.”
Earlier this month, Jokowi hinted at support for the project, which was expected to begin this year under the auspices of PT Jakarta Tollroad Development (JTD), to ease traffic. Urban activists protested against the plan which they said would counteract the administration’s plans to shift commuters to public transportation, organizing a petition to protest the construction of the elevated toll roads. “Neither side — those who oppose the construction or the project consortium — could reach an agreement, each of them insisted on their respective stances,” Jokowi said, adding that no one would accept the win-win solution offered by the governor when lobbying each group.
Transportation expert with the Institute of Transportation Studies (Instran) Darmaningtyas confirmed that the governor had offered an option to the stakeholders opposing the project. “He offered an option of constructing only one toll road connecting Semanan and Bekasi. But we also said no to that,” he said, emphasizing that “we won’t change our stance”.
Darmaningtyas said that he had reminded the governor that the construction of the new toll roads might cause an even bigger environmental disaster in the future. “If one argued that the plan was already stipulated in the RTRW, that was because the RTRW was drafted without public consultation,” he said, referring to the 2011-2030 Spatial Planning Bylaw (RTRW).
JTD president director Frans Sunito said that he had no other options but to await the governor’s final decision on the project. “We are prepared to build six toll roads, but if the administration changes [the plan] we’ll wait,” he said. He emphasized that the project’s financing scheme did not involve the city budget. “It’s 100 percent private funding — comprising 30 percent of cash flow and 70 percent of bank loans. The administration can use its budget [to develop] mass transportation,” Frans said.
He added that in the proposal, the consortium had planned to build elevated bus shelters along the toll roads to facilitate public buses. “The construction of the toll roads will not disrupt other public facilities.” The proposed 67.9 kilometers of inner-city toll roads, a project initiated during the term of governor Sutiyoso, was planned to connect all five of Jakarta’s municipalities.
The planned first phase of construction includes a 17.8-kilometer road from Semanan, West Jakarta, to Sunter, North Jakarta and an 11-kilometer road from Sunter to Bekasi. The routes from Duri Pulo, Central Jakarta, to Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, and from Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, to Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, are planned for the second phase.
The third part of the project would connect Ulujami, South Jakarta, to Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, and the fourth would connect Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, to the Casablanca area of South Jakarta. During his election campaign, Jokowi — along with his running mate Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama — promised that he would not endorse the project, saying that he would prioritize developing mass transportation to shift people from private cars.
Even-odd traffic policy to start next year, The Jakarta Post 16 March 2013
The Jakarta Transportation Agency said on Friday that the car restriction policy using the even-odd license plate number method has to wait until next year. “After discussing with the governor [Joko “Jokowi” Widodo], he said it would be better to start the implementation when mass transportation is ready,” agency head Udar Pristono told reporters. “It will be difficult for the people that want to shift to using mass transportation, if it isn’t available yet,” he added.
The administration is currently expanding its Transjakarta bus fleet and procurement of new buses is expected to be finished by December. Udar said that the city currently operates 669 Transjakarta buses for all lines, while another 450 are still in the procurement process. “As many as 102 new articulated Transjakarta buses are already on the roads. The buses are so comfortable to ride in,” he said.
He pointed out that the even-odd system is the best that the city can implement with its current situation and budget, and hence will not be canceled. He added that it would be more effective than the three-in-one system, which the new method will temporarily replace. The system will be effective from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.
It will affect roads used by the Transjakarta Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and a number of other main streets. Under the plan, cars with odd-numbered license plates will be banned on even dates and vice versa. The vehicles will also be marked with stickers, red for odd numbers and green for even numbers. “Three-in-one used to be a very good system, until people used jockeys to help them fool the authorities,” Udar said. “But with the new method, people will think twice before violating the regulation, because they can also be charged for license plate fraud. That’s a crime.” The agency is optimistic that the method will reduce the city’s congestion level by 45 percent.
Late last month, the administration also said that the regulation implementation would likely be postponed as it had yet to procure 2.5 million vehicle stickers worth Rp 12.5 billion (US$1.28 million) because of the late approval of the 2013 city budget. The administration had stated previously that they would need one more month to disseminate the policy, and if approved it would be implemented only at the end of June.
Newly-installed Deputy Jakarta Traffic Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo said that police are currently preparing the supporting database for the even-odd method implementation. “We prefer to use the electronic law enforcement [ELE] in this,” he said, adding that it will be more comprehensive as well as easier for the police to do. “Besides, it is modernized. We would not want to hear about foreign dignitaries coming to the city who were confused by seeing hundreds of police officers glaring at license plate numbers, would we?”
Police said they will not rush in the implementation, saying that they will do their best to compile a database of motorists first, which would include bank account details. They said the process needed a further 30 to 40 percent to complete.