Transport Superbody to Address Jakarta Traffic Woes
Ulma Haryanto & Dofa Fasila
Ending the chronic traffic congestion in Jakarta calls for the establishment of a multi-jurisdictional transportation authority involving the various satellite cities, officials said on Tuesday.
The planned Jabodetabek Transportation Authority is expected to be made up of officials from Jakarta and the neighboring areas of Bogor and Depok to the south, Tangerang to the west and Bekasi to the east.
Tulus Hutagalung, project director of Jabodetabek Urban Transportation Policy Integration, said it was important to have one agency managing traffic for the entire Greater Jakarta area.
“It’s a fact that coordinating multi-sectoral projects is a weak point of the government,” he said. “It’s also one of the reasons why our previous integrated transportation master plans have never worked.”
He said his JUTPI team, from the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, was working on the JTA in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency. JICA is providing the team with technical support.
The formation of the JTA is also being monitored by the Presidential Unit for Development, Supervision and Oversight (UKP4).
“There’s political support from higher-ups to treat the issue of traffic jams in Greater Jakarta as a national issue,” said Nirarta Samadhi, head of the UKP4’s panel of experts.
“We expect each region involved in the JTA to improve their coordination. There will also be peer pressure from regional governments, because when one area lags behind, its officials will be publicly reprimanded.”
Pending the establishment of the JTA, the Jakarta transportation, public works and regional development planning agencies, along with state-owned railway operator Kereta Api and busway operator TransJakarta, are working on a pilot project to help improve traffic flow in the capital.
The project, which began in October, will see the establishment of so-called showcase corridors running from Serpong in Tangerang to Dukuh Atas in Central Jakarta, and from Depok to Dukuh Atas.
Traffic regulations, including those on no-parking zones, will be strictly enforced in these areas to reduce commute time.
“It currently takes 75 minutes to travel down the first corridor, and 120 minutes for the second,” Nirarta said.
“We want to slash those times by 15 and 40 minutes.”
He said officials expected to achieve this by April.
In Depok, the administration is experimenting with a park-and-ride system, where commuters drive their car or motorcycle to Pondok Cina station near the University of Indonesia, then take the train to Jakarta.
Anton Rifane, head of the Depok Transportation Agency, said this could significantly reduce motor traffic to Jakarta, given that 70 percent of Depok commuters travel to the capital daily.
“Depok Town Square mall will make a convenient place to park for the park-and-ride system because it’s near Pondok Cina station,” he said.
“There are also several residential estates in that area where people will be able to park their vehicles.”
He said the mall’s parking building had nine levels, but only three levels were occupied during peak hours.
He added the Depok administration would try to get more commuters to take the train by building a connecting passageway from the parking building to the railway station.
“We’ll need Kereta Api to contribute as well because it currently doesn’t have enough Jakarta-bound trains stopping at the station,” Anton said.
In a separate development, officials working on the planned mass rapid transit rail line in Jakarta said they had just completed a study on land subsidence along the line’s proposed route.
Tribudi Rahardjo, president director of MRT Jakarta, said on Monday that land subsidence was a critical issue for the MRT, which would have underground and elevated sections, particularly because Jakarta is located on a coastal flood plain.
He said the study had found no significant areas of concern. The highest level of land subsidence was found in the far north of the city, far from the MRT’s planned route through southern and central Jakarta.
Bigman Marihat Hutapea, chairman of the Association of Geotechnical Specialists and a researcher in the study, said the rate of land subsidence would slow down and eventually stop, thus posing no risk to the future MRT line.
“The MRT will also be adequately supported by piles with deep foundations for its elevated section, and cut-off walls for its underground section,” he said.
“As such, the effect of land subsidence shouldn’t be a big concern.”
As it is now planned, the MRT would comprise two lines, running a combined 110 kilometers. The North-South Line would stretch 23 kilometers, and the East-West Line 87 kilometers.
The first stage of the North-South Line, from Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta, is hoped to go into operation in 2016. Officials say the East-West Line would begin running by 2024 at the earliest.