With 3-in-1 out, Ahok pushing for free public transportation paid for by Electronic Road Pricing 

As those of you who commute everyday are probably well aware, Jakarta’s 3-in-1 carpooling rules has officially been abolished starting today.

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has long been pushing for the removal of the 3-in-1, especially after police found evidence confirming long held suspicions that some 3-in-1 jockeys were exploiting children to make money off the policy and giving them sleeping pills to make them more compliant as they rode in strangers’ cars.

“The point is surely that we have been successful in that we will no longer see people exploiting children by given them sleeping drugs,” Ahok said today as quoted by PosKotaNews.

However, both anecdotal evidence and surveys have shown that traffic has increased significantly in roads previously under the 3-in-1 system during rush hour, which means a new alternative system of traffic management needs to be put into place. 

The government has been pushing for the implementation of an electronic road pricing system (ERP) on Jakarta’s major roads, which would automatically tax vehicles entering the capital’s downtown areas during certain hours. However officials say legal and bureaucratic barriers will prevent the system from being implemented for at least another year.

Ahok said he would push the transportation agency to implement an odd-even regulation as soon as possible, which would only allow cars with license plates ending in odd numbers use the roads on alternate days and vice versa. On Friday, the head of the Department of Transportation, Andri Yansyah, said he would discuss preparations for the implementation of odd-even system with the Jakarta Metro Police.

But Ahok has much more ambitious plans for the future. He is hoping for the ERP system to be implemented as soon as possible, and he is even pushing for money earned by the ERP to be funneled directly into subsidizing public transportation, with the goal of making public transportation completely free for citizens. 

“Well, if the income from the ERP is pretty good, I would like it if people did not have to pay for the buses. Later if the ERP is already in place and the operations are good, everybody in the entire city center will not have to pay to take the bus. It will be easier for people to live well in Jakarta,” Ahok said today as quoted by Tempo.

Ahok said one of the ways he hoped to make that happen was to have the city manage the ERP system itself. The previous plan was to give management of it over to a private company, but Ahok said he decided to have the government manage it instead so that 100% of the profits could be used to subsidize public transportation.

It’s an ambitious plan that would surely make a huge positive impact on Jakarta’s terrible traffic situation if it could be realized. We’re happy to suffer through increased traffic for a while if it helps the dream of free public transportation in Jakarta to come true. If we were asked who would have the best chance of making that plan into reality, we’d put our money on Ahok.

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