What are the best solutions for traffic

Jakarta finds absurd solutions to the traffic problem

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came to the opposite conclusion in a study. "After this policy was abruptly abandoned in April 2016, delays increased from 2.1 to 3.1 minutes per kilometer during the morning rush hour and from 2.8 to 5.3 minutes per kilometer at the evening peak," the researchers write. “The end of this regulation resulted in a deterioration in traffic across the city, even on roads that have never been congested or at times when there were no restrictions. In short, we find that HOV guidelines can significantly improve traffic conditions. "

Critics are of the opinion that there is a lack of political will to implement it and that corruption undermines even the most beautiful plans. Some politicians are even proud of the traffic jam. Rahmat Effendi, mayor of Jakarta's neighboring city of Bekasi, announced last February: »I am proud of the traffic jams that often occur in Bekasi. Let it (the city) be clogged. It is much more important that the economic growth (of Bekasi) is above the national average. "

Competitive thinking stands in the way of good solutions

Another major obstacle on the way to effective traffic planning in Jakarta is the unwillingness of the state transport companies to cooperate with one another. The bus operator Transjakarta, for example, serves the same route as the new MRT. "So far, the argument 'we're losing customers' has failed to work together between the two operating companies," says Faela Sufa, deputy director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which advises municipalities and governments in Indonesia on traffic planning. »A holding company should be established for the integration of the transport companies and their strategic planning. In principle, that would be very easy because these companies are state-owned. But so far that has failed due to competitive thinking. "

Transjakarta's main competitor is not MRT, but the private company GO-JEK, a kind of Indonesian Uber for motorcycle taxis. On the agile two-wheelers you can get through the constant traffic jams faster, and so the app-based, inexpensive service has become extremely popular overnight. According to Sufa, it is estimated that Transjakarta has lost 20 percent of its customers to GO-JEK. On the other hand, the increasing GO-JEK demand has led to an increase in the number of motorcycles, which are now also clogging Jakarta's streets. With more than a million drivers, the GO-JEK empire, which has been expanding rapidly since it was founded in 2010 and is valued at ten billion dollars, is now on the market throughout Indonesia and 50 Asian cities.

Sufa and the ITDP are promoting an integrated local transport concept in which feeder services play a central role. Buses, minibuses and GO-JEK, says Sufa, could take people to the stations of the MRT, the trains, the LRT. Intelligent urban planning should also ensure that work, life and living can take place within a radius of 350 meters. "That would reduce the dependency on cars," says Sufa.

Is the capital giving way to traffic?

Jakarta and the Indonesian government are using different strategies. In some parts of Jakarta, only cars with even or odd numbers on their license plates are allowed to drive on weekdays. In 2020 the “Electronic Road Pricing” (ERP) toll system is to be introduced.