If the proposed Electronic Road Pricing scheme eventually pushes through, Jakarta motorists may find themselves paying up to Rp 21,000 ($2.40) every time they travel through large parts of the city.
That is roughly the price ceiling being considered in the master plan for the ERP by the Jakarta Transportation Office, according to its chief, Udar Pristono.
“We are proposing an average tariff for the ERP ranging from between Rp 6,579 and Rp 21,072,” he said.
Udar said the prices took into consideration current tariffs on the city’s toll roads, comparative rates overseas, consumer surveys and the cost of so-called jockeys, who help motorists circumvent the city’s three-in-one carpool regulation.
However, he said his office would first propose a set tariff of Rp 12,500 for at least the first phase of the program, after which the price could be reviewed.
To implement the scheme, the office is proposing three electronic toll gates be installed on each stretch of road where the ERP would be implemented.
Two gates, at the start and end of the stretch, would verify vehicle license plates, while the other would process how much to automatically deduct from motorists’ accounts via the on-board unit.
The ERP scheme is hoped to replace the current three-in-one system that is made redundant by the abundance of jockeys, who offer their services for between Rp 10,000 and Rp 20,000 to help motorists meet the three-passenger minimum needed per vehicle at certain times on certain roads.
Udar said his office had already come up with areas where the ERP could be applied, many of which included roads that were not covered by the three-in-one scheme.
But before the project could proceed, Udar said the authorities still needed to wait for government regulation related to the 2009 Law on Traffic and Road Transportation, which is still being debated.
It also needed the 2009 Law on Regional Taxes and Levies to be revised in order to allow the city to receive revenues from the scheme.
Separately, Jakarta motorists said they were already wary of the proposed new system.
Maria Dewi Purwitasari, an office worker, said she worried about how it would impact her family’s monthly budget.
“My husband and I often take the Sudirman, Thamrin and Harmoni route to commute between home and work. But if the Jakarta administration implements the ERP like this, we will have to manage our monthly budget again,” she said.
Andy Lala, a journalist from Trijaya FM, said the proposed tariffs would probably be fine for most people but questioned what the city would do with those revenues. “Will we have well-maintained roads that won’t get flooded during the rainy season or what?” he said.
Udar said the ERP scheme was just one of three immediate steps the city planned to take to alleviate chronic traffic problems. The other two initiatives included the construction of five more busway corridors and the development of an integrated transportation system.
“Hopefully those three steps can begin this year,” he said. “We will work hard to reduce the capital’s traffic congestion.”
Meanwhile, Jakarta Deputy Governor Prijanto said the city administration and central government had finally agreed on how to structure the financing for the construction of a 14.3 kilometer-long Monorail project. The project had been dropped in the absence of any investor.
The expected Rp 4.42 trillion cost of the project would be divided equally between both parties, he said.
Agus Pambagio, from the Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI), said that to ease traffic, the city should in the short term work to provide an adequate busway fleet, put restrictions on motorcycle numbers, hike parking rates along busway routes, tighten issuance of driver’s licenses and create incentives for police to book traffic offenders.
“But to do all these things, a strong and daring leadership is needed to make decisions,” he said.
“A leader should be firm — and even a little bit crazy — in executing his policies.”