Study says average Jakartan spends the equivalent of 22 days per year stuck in traffic

Jakarta’s Jalan Thamin is currently free from motorcycles, but that will soon change. Photo: Coconuts Media
Jakarta’s Jalan Thamin is currently free from motorcycles, but that will soon change. Photo: Coconuts Media

Jakartans have a lot of time to think while stuck in the capital’s seemingly endless traffic jams, and one question we have all asked ourselves at some point is, “How much of my life have I wasted sitting in this motherf*rkin’ macet!?!”

While a solution to Jakarta’s traffic disaster may still be a while off, at least you don’t have to worry about the answer to that particular question anymore. If you’re anything like the average Jakartan, the answer is… about 22 days of your life have been spent sitting in the capital’s traffic per year.

That’s according to the results of a new study by the Boston Consulting Group, which was commissioned by global ride-hailing giant Uber.

“The average car owner in Jakarta spends 68 minutes stuck in traffic and 21 minutes looking for parking every day, which is equivalent to 22 days per year,” said John Colombo, head of public policy and government affairs at Uber Indonesia, while speaking at a press conference this afternoon as quoted by Kompas.

While that does sound awful, it’s actually not that far off from the average amount of time people in other Asian cities covered by the study spend stuck in traffic per day (52 minutes) and even a tiny bit better in terms of amount of time spent finding parking per day (26 minutes).

The other cities included in the study were Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok. The study was based on surveys taken from July to August by around 9,000 respondents.

Recently inaugurated Jakarta Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno attended Uber’s press conference and said he supported the use of ridesharing services (such as Uber’s Uberpool or Grab’s Grabshare) to help decrease traffic jams and the amount of time Jakartans waste in them.

“Imagine, 22 days is equal to two years of leave,” Sandiaga said.

According to the Uber-backed study, people who use app-based ride-hailing services are more likely to switch from private vehicles and combine their journeys with mass transit, such as buses and trains.

A new set of regulations from Indonesia’s Transport Ministry governing the nascent ride-hailing service industry went into effect today. Many critics, especially drivers working for Uber, Grab and Go-Jek, say the new regulations are still too burdensome and are only designed to artificially keep conventional taxis competitive with the new industry.

While Jakarta’s traffic is often considered amongst the worst in the world in a study by American research company INRIX titled the “Global Traffic Scorecard” Jakarta actually came in as the 22nd worst in the world (not that that’s good or anything, but still). The government estimates that traffic costs the capital about US$5billion in lost productivity each year.

 

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