photo credit: Ikhlasul Amal
Jakarta traffic has been steadily getting worst by the years! 5 years ago it was bad, today it’s one of the worst in the world and if the government really didn’t step in and do something it will only get worst. Did you know Jakarta is estimated to lose $1 billion a year due to the bad traffic and collective failure of urban planning dates back at least 50 years, and has left the city with no integrated system of public transport. Says 70% of Jakarta population uses private vehicles.
By all means, I’m no expert but dealing with the crazy Jakarta traffic almost daily, hey like it or not I will have to go outside and do stuff, can’t help but wondering what can be improved about this nightmare. Here are some ideas:
- Fix the public transportation system! With how bad public transportation look and their services here, not very many people are willing to use the bus or train if they have better option such as their own cars/motorbike or taxi. Most public buses here look like it might give you tetanus if you get bump on one! They are very unregulated too besides the obvious cleanliness factor which is almost non-existent, these buses sometimes contribute a lot with jamming the traffic by stopping whenever and wherever they sees fit. God knows, I got so irritated if they stop and wait on people to hopped in and blocked traffic behind them. An intersection in Slipi area is one of the worst where big buses and those smalls mikrolet just stop and do whatever they want, even when a traffic police officer is right there, standing directing traffic with so much failure I feel sorry for the man. I wonder when someone from the government will finally have enough courage to stand up and actually do something about this. I would love to take my son on a public transportation as long as it’s in a decent and clean condition and I’m sure most Jakartans will do too!
- Busway system just doesn’t work! The initial idea is pretty great! When it first opened 6 years ago I gave it a try and it does speed up commuting time. Fast forward it to today, busway seems to do little to help ease the horrible traffic as I saw their routes expanded, they are always full, reminded me of just another ride in metro mini! Very inconvenience! If the streets of Jakarta are as wide and as well constructed as its other neighboring country, busway will works! There are just not enough lanes for this once a grand project of Jakarta old governor.
- Built bigger road, less malls! With its visit Jakarta campaign, boasting about the shopping experience in Jakarta felt like a big joke. Uhm, yeah I’d rather go to Jakarta and shop at their grand fancy malls but I will stay until the mall is close to avoid being caught in traffic jam? I don’t think so! Maybe, the officials should take a little visit to Guangzhou, China and see how impressive their road infrastructures. Granted, I haven’t seen all of China but with that many people there, they really did a great job with their roads. Their highways are real highway unlike Jakarta’s nightmare toll roads! It is a public understanding here that the roads in Jakarta were built only to fatten the greedy corrupted government officials. These companies had to spent tons of money buying their way to win the bid thus, the quality of their job will deteriorate resulting in many roads of Jakarta being in terrible conditions within only a year or two. To get it fixed, again place your bidding to the government, never ending cycle right? But really, Jakarta needs to be ashamed of their road conditions!
- Put a STOP to overpopulated motorbikes on the road. For roughly $50, people can take a brand new motorbike home in Jakarta. Promotions of cheap motorbikes are everywhere. I can go on and on and on about how obnoxious most motorbikes’ drivers in Jakarta, so let’s not go there. The point is, there are way too many motorbikes already and it is nuts to expect people in their cars to pay attention to them instead of the other way around!
- Regulate toll road usage. How many times you’d notice on a creeping toll road (especially the one that goes to the airport?) these big 16-wheelers or 18-wheelers that drive slow and sometimes on the right lane?! It annoys the heck out of me to see this! Why, because these big giants can easily take a detour and use the outer ring toll roads instead of going through the city. Back in the US, most big trucks like this especially ones that goes from town to town will take the highway/interstates that doesn’t connect them through the city, in other words they stay off the city traffic! Should these giants really need to go through the city for construction reasons, regulate it so they can only go into the city after let’s say from 11 PM until 4 AM!
- A stricter Driver License Regulation. The rules are there and has been there by the book (probably dusty somewhere!) that everyone must take a test before being handed their license. I remember how funny it was when my father went down to make a new license because he had lost his wallet in Johannesburg and the police simply told him that all will be ‘taken care of’ if he paid this much money. Being, the competent driver that he is and an expert in defensive driving course, he demanded to take the test. Now, imagine if these rules are being strictly implemented? It would mean fewer idiots on the loose in Jakarta streets! Accidents numbers will probably go down. Use the point system like in some other countries. Speeding tickets will reduce your points and worst come to worst, one will lose their license! Maybe implying this plus the vehicles insurance alongside the registrations, tax will also help in healing Jakarta’s traffic.
I maybe just a mom…but I think about these stuffs and I believe whoever it is in charge in our government better thinks for the people too instead of fighting like bullies in the parliament seats.