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Jakarta’s Traffic Solution is…

… to make me governor :). Just kidding, I know it’s nearly impossible to fix this situation without probably blowing up the whole city and doing proper urban planning. But here’s some ideas I think would reduce traffic congestion by a huge amount (just don’t know why nobody’s doing these since they’re pretty common sense if you think about it).

So here goes my Jakarta Traffic Solution Guide:

  • The Busway is a good idea, but the implementation in Jakarta is as bad as you can get. It’s supposed to have its own lane created from scratch, not taking an existing lane and converting it. If you really want to do this, then accordingly, take out all the other public transportation on the regular roads to reduce congestion. Without doing this, it’s basically, “oh, let’s cramp these already packed 3 lanes into 2 and see how people like being squished together in cars”.
  • Everyone in Jakarta knows that most of the old public transportation like the “MetroMini”, “Kopaja”, “Kopami”, “Mikrolet”, “KWK” and the rest of them drive like maniacs and have no regard for everybody else on the road, plus they stop wherever they want whenever they want, thus causing havoc on the roads. Get rid of these and leave maybe 1/4 of the ones that drive properly.
  • As an added bonus of doing the previous step, we’d probably cut Jakarta’s pollution by a huge amount.
  • Double or even triple the amount of current Busway armada. Right now, there are roads all across Jakarta for the buses, but hardly enough buses as evidenced by the sardine-like packed terminals at Harmoni during peak hours. With enough buses to ensure comfortability, more people will be enticed to use it.
  • Make the Busway stations and buses comfortable for people to use. Right now people are sweating it out in the stations because there’re no air conditioners. Now imagine this at 5 PM with Jakarta’s striking heat and a whole place full of irate, annoyed people who just want to go home.
  • Provide parking lots near end points of the Busway routes. There are stations right now, but where do you expect people who drive cars to park them? In the middle of the road?

Ending thoughts: As I said at the beginning, the Busway is a fine concept with bad implementation. The government says they’re trying to get people out of their cars on to the buses; but who in their right mind would do such a thing if it meant suffering through heat, long wait times and crowded transportation? Without improving the conditions of the terminals and buses, I hardly see anybody in their cars wanting to leap for joy and join the Busway crowd.

So, anybody care to make me governor someday? :)


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