Jakarta’s traffic ranked 12th worst in the world according to new survey

File photo of traffic on Jalan MH Thamrin in Jakarta. Photo: Coconuts Media
File photo of traffic on Jalan MH Thamrin in Jakarta. Photo: Coconuts Media

Jakarta definitely has the some of the worst, most maddening traffic in the world – nobody is denying that. But does the Indonesian capital really have “The Worst Traffic in the World” as some other publications have declared?

According to the latest INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, not quite. But according to the annual report from the transportation analytics company, it is getting worse. In their 2017 scorecard, which was just released over the weekend, Jakarta was ranked as having the 12th worst traffic in the world. That a significant drop from it’s ranking as 22nd last year.

The INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard claims to be the largest study of its kind, analyzing data from 38 countries, and 1,360 cities. So which 11 cities are somehow unlucky enough to have worse traffic than Jakarta? You might be surprised:

Graph: INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard

As you can see, Jakarta just managed to edge out nearby Bangkok, which came in at 11th in the ranking. A few western capital cities also beat out the Big Durian, with Paris coming in 9th and London 7th. Quite a few US cities are near the top of the list as well including Los Angeles, which was ranked as having the worst traffic in the world yet again this year.

One of the measures used in the study is “hours spent in congestion”. According to INRIX’s data, Jakartans spend an average of 63 hours sitting in traffic per year (up from 55 last year). Which is, obviously, terrible, but compared to the 102 hours that Los Angelinos supposedly spend per year in traffic, it doesn’t seem quite so bad (of course, the fact that they can use that time to break out into award-winning song and dance numbers probably eases the pain).

We would also note that the hours spent in congestion metric is measured only using traffic “during peak hours based upon 240 commuting days”. As any Jakartan who has somehow managed to get stuck in a slow moving traffic jam on a Saturday afternoon can attest, the macet here is certainly not limited to weekday rush hours.

At any rate, the fact that Jakarta’s ranking dropped significantly over the last year is troubling. While initial construction on the capital’s MRT and LRT transit systems are supposed to be completed within the next two years, analysts have their doubts about how much those can really help considering the thousands of new cars and motorcycles hitting Jakarta’s streets every single day.

It’s been estimated that Jakarta’s traffic costs the capital about USD$ 5 billion per year, primarily in lost productivity. If bolder anti-macet measures aren’t put in place soon (such as electronic road pricing and vastly increased tariffs on vehicle ownership), the capital might not just drop even further towards the top of these ranking, it may grind to a standstill altogether.

For more info and their methodology, read the full report: INRIX’s Global Traffic Scorecard  2017



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