Thu, 27 May 2004

'Buses should only stop at bus stops'

The Jakarta administration plans to construct a monorail and expand the busway system, yet it still has not completed an evaluation of the four-month-old Blok M to Kota busway route. Another thing the administration has not done is work up a grand design for the transportation system in the capital. The Jakarta Post talked to residents about the issue.

Matthew, 30, is an Australian who works in the business district in Central Jakarta. He has worked in Indonesia for two years and lives in Karet, Central Jakarta:

Private vehicle owners in Jakarta should be made to pay a tax for the congestion they cause in the city. It should be used to subsidize the construction of public transportation, because it is in the interest of everybody to get people to travel around easily.

There should be a designated bus lane on artery roads in Jakarta. It need not have a concrete lane divider. A line painted on the roads should be enough and the police should ticket vehicles other than buses that use the lane.

The priorities should be upgrading buses and making designated bus lanes. The police should get the buses to not stop anywhere but at bus stops. That way, we can speed up public transportation.

A monorail is not a good idea because it is so expensive. We don't want to make public transportation for those who can already afford to have private vehicles.

Hotma Roni Simamora, 30, is a freelance photographer. He lives in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, with his mother and sisters:

Does the Jakarta administration have a master plan for transportation? It did not seem so in the past. For example, the underpass on Jl. Pramuka in East Jakarta, which I pass frequently, simply moves the bottleneck to another place.

What I read in the newspaper suggested that the busway in Bogota, where we got the idea from, is very different from the one we have here. Therefore, I am not confident that the busway will prove to be effective.

Transportation problems in Jakarta are too complex and have many aspects. And, as usual, we only solve one problem by creating another one in the process.

--The Jakarta Post