Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Public Transport & Government's Ideas

Apparently Jakartan Government has this idea of banning motorcycle around some areas during peak hours. It is one of their 'solutions' to Jakarta's traffic problem. This is on top of the idea of applying Electronic Road Pricing like in London, and making schools start earlier. The governor also talks about getting Mass Rapid Transit and Bus Rapid Transit.

It is said that there are about 900 new motorcycle each day in Jakarta. Here's a thought, how about curbing the number of the new motorcycle and car for the time being? No wonder that each day the road looks more and more crowded with motorcycles. During rush hours those motorcycles look like a swarm of bees. Since most of the riders are very egotistical on the road, they caused more congestion on both side of the road in some areas.

Out of all the options the government is talking about, it seems to me that it is not well thought, and only concentrating on the benefit of private car owners. I really wish those esteem members who travel to and fro in the comfort of their luxurious cars, tried for at least one day to travel around by public transport like any average Jakartan before proposing any solution to Jakarta's traffic. Until then, I dont think they realized the state of its public transport.

Take the Busway, the better public transport in this mess, they are overcrowded, at certain time people have to wait for more than half an hour in the bus shelter made out of aluminum and glasses, with not enough ventilation (let alone air conditioning where it supposed to have), where people cant get any water to rehydrate while waiting in the crowded boiling hot shelter for the bus. If there are more busses available, more reliable schedules, more lines that is served by busway, I am sure people are more than happy to utilize it more. Even at the present state with sexual harassment and all, people still use the busway for its convenience and quicker in comparison with other public transport. Why dont the government fix it first, while waiting for the MRT or whatever they are planning next that still need to be negotiated.

The proposal of allowing certain license plate on one day and the other on the next is not really going to work. I know plenty of people who has more than 2 cars in their household. it can also resulted in a black market of having two license plates on one car/motorcycle. They also proposed that private cars of certain age shouldnt be allowed to ride. The more troublesome is the age and condition of most of public transport, they are the ones that need regeneration. I guess the reason why the government did say any thing about it is because the owners of those busses/angkot/microlets are mostly (or backed by) (ex) military personnel.

Jakarta's traffic problem is huge, it needs comprehensive solution, not just some half hearted half baked solution that would be abandon soon enough. However, I do believe a better public transport is something that we cant ignore. The better it is, the more people used them instead of any private transportation, and hopefully the less traffic jam.


colson said...

Five years ago I visited Jakarta for the last time. I loved the time I spent there. Well, it helped that locals showed me around. But surprisingly traffic also was a main attraction: a huge free fight for all. The Wild West of Paris times 25.

You are right of course: each metropolis needs top quality public transport. It definitely is not the only solution, but a necessary and most important one.

At home I see it's hard to make that happen though. It has to be financed by taxpayer's money ( which usually is not a popular message), it takes a lot of time and money to create the infrastructure and logistics needed, most people prefer driving their own car anyhow even if high quality public transport is available, and there will be a lot of opposition and lobbying by the vested interests thriving on car sales.

So, I guess your article makes very much sense ( what would you expect a member of GroenLinks would say?). But it is a political issue. So if you want to do something about it you probably have to enter the political arena....

triesti said...

:) the groenlinks would say: go biking. I reply: go yourself! :D I am not that green. well, during traffic jam in Sudirman-thamrin it's quicker to get busway than any other transport. There are some corridors (=busway lines) ready but there's no bus doing that line, and all the shelters are ruin (well, actually its parts stolen).

lemme tell you a little secret, I dont know if you've noticed... I was in the arena, and about to enter it again through the back door.. sst.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Triesti,
The Jakarta government has been inconsistent with it's own plan e.g the monorail project which started many years ago but stopped after building several concrete columns which costs billions of Rupiah.
Then there was last year's regulation about schools starting 30 minutes earlier, but until now many schools still start at 7 as before.
I think beside building MRT, they should also build more roads.

triesti said...

Harry, how and where do you propose for these new road? Money wise, I am not sure the goverment has enough money to buy land in central jakarta where most traffic jam take place. MRT needs more negotiations and money to finish, that's why I prefer that the government just continue with the busway for the time being, it is underutilized in some area, overcapacity in other. Get it right first, so if the MRT is finally materialize we have two working systems.

I thought it was stupid to make the kids pay for these. I am glad more schools start later, it would even be better it they could start at 8 actually.