Transport Agency proposes imposing fee on vehicles entering from outside the capital to cut traffic

Traffic on Jalan MH Thamrin in Jakarta. Photo: Coconuts Media
Traffic on Jalan MH Thamrin in Jakarta. Photo: Coconuts Media

With Jakarta’s terrible traffic problem getting worse by the day and and the mass rapid transit (MRT) and light rail transit (LRT) systems still years off from becoming fully operational, those tasked with clearing up the crazy congestion are looking for solutions beyond the current odd-even system, which is seen as a stop-gap solution at best.

The latest proposal comes from the Greater Jakarta Area Transportation Management Agency (BPTJ), which has proposed levying a fee on vehicles registered from outside Jakarta when they enter the capital as a way to encourage long-distance commuters to take public transportation instead.

BPTJ Head Bambang Prihartono said that traffic had already become an “emergency” situation in the capital and that the odd-even system, including its recent extension to the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll road, was not doing enough to make an impact.

“The long-term program is one utilizing an electronic road pricing system (ERP) arrangement so our hope is that the volume of vehicle entering Jakarta will start to be controlled so it will not build up in the city, because eventually the mass transit system complete with MRT, LRT and buses will be prepared,” Bambang said Sunday as quoted by Detik.

 

Bambang also said that such a system would allow them to enact progressive tariffs on vehicles entering from from outside the capital, so they would pay the most during rush hours and less during off-hours.

The idea is still in the very early stages and Bambang said he would have to discuss it with all of the various stakeholders before moving forward on it.

Several Jakarta officials and analysts have already weighed in publicly on the proposal, both for and against. Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) Tulus Abadi said he didn’t think the policy was feasible and could lead to other nearby regions enacting reactionary policies against Jakarta for discriminating against their citizens.

Abdul Ghani, the chairman of the Gerindra faction on the Jakarta City Council, agreed with the proposal saying it was an important step to get people to use public transportation.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan did not indicate if he approved or disapproved of the idea but said he would study it.

A 2015 commuter survey by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed that 2.43 million commuters travel within, into and out of Jakarta every day and, of those, 1.38 million travel from the outskirts of Jakarta, including the cities of Bogor, Bekasi and Depok in West Java as well as Tangerang in Banten.

The latest INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard released this year study ranked Jakarta as having the 12th worst traffic of any city in the report and estimated that Jakartans spend an average of 63 hours per year city in traffic during rush hour.

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