Ahead of the start of the Asian Games on August 18, the Jakarta government has been conducting a test expansion of the odd-even traffic rule in the hopes that it can help tame some of the capital’s notoriously awful traffic before things really get chaotic once the games and its attendant influx of visitors begins.
Two weeks into the test, the government says the expansion has been a success thus far, with the head of the capital’s transportation department claiming that expanding the odd-even to cover a much larger swathe of the capital’s thoroughfares has increased speeds and decreased travel times significantly.
Based on their data presented, the second week of the test expansion saw overall speeds increase in average vehicle speeds of 12.14% and an average decrease in travel time of 12.11%.
“Before the odd even expansion, average travel times were 15.56 minutes in the areas monitored, then in the first week of the trial down that was reduced to 13.25 minutes and in the second week it slightly decreased again to 13,06 minutes,” said Jakarta Transportation Department Head Andri Yansyah as quoted by Kompas.
The odd-even expansion was also praised by the head of Jakarta’s Environment Agency, Isnawa Adji, who claimed last week that the air quality in Jakarta improved after the start of the trial on July 2, leading to small but significant decreases in hazardous air particulates from car exhaust.
The trial expansion of the odd-even rule — which only allows vehicles with odd-numbered plates to use certain major roads during rush hours on odd calendar dates and vice-versa — began on July 2 with a a month-long awareness drive before the expansion officially comes into effect on August 1.
This map below, from the Jakarta Transportation Agency, details exactly which roads are now covered by the odd-even rule. The light blue lines represent the roads where the odd-even rule was previously enforced, while the red lines represent the new additions and the blue dotted lines represent suggested alternate routes (be warned: they will be jammed more than usual).
The biggest expansion stretches all the way from Jalan S. Parman in West Jakarta, through Gatot Subroto, M.T. Haryono, D.I. Panjaitan, Jenderal Ahmad Yani up to Cempaka Putih in Central Jakarta, measuring close to 22km.
The other three points of expansion are: South Jakarta’s Jalan Arteri Pondok Indah — Kebayoran Baru, Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said, and Central Jakarta’s Jalan Benyamin Sueb, Kemayoran.
In addition, under the expansion, the odd-even rule is now be enforced for 15 hours every workday, from 6am to 9pm. This is much longer than the 7am-10am and 4pm-8pm rush hour windows prior to the expansion.
During the trial period, violators of the odd-even rule won’t be fined, but starting August 1, the IDR500K (US$34.74) fine applies.
The Jakarta Provincial Government has not decided on whether or not the expansion will still apply after the Asian Games concludes on September 2, but there has been talk that they are considering making it permanent beyond the Games.