Locals Offer Advice to Combat Traffic Gridlock
Acap on private vehicle ownership, coupled with a comfortable and reliable public transportation system, is just the ticket to solve Jakarta’s traffic woes, residents said on Tuesday.
Faozan Latief, 24, told the Jakarta Globe that he wished there were fewer cars choking the city’s streets.
“I’d say that living in Jakarta is like living in hell, because other than wasting so much time in traffic, we also waste money on commuting,” he said. “So the only thing that the government can do to reduce private vehicle ownership is impose a high vehicle tax.”
He added that the next logical move would be to expand the current public transportation network to accommodate former and would-be private commuters.
“The government also needs to provide proper public transportation and optimize the TransJakarta busway by adding more buses, so we don’t have to wait in line for ages,” Faozan said.
Novieta Tourisia, 23, agreed that the busway system needed to be improved if it were to entice commuters away from their cars and motorcycles.
“The government needs to enlarge the city’s busway system and introduce a restriction on private vehicle ownership, because right now, it is too easy for anyone to get a car or motorbike,” she said.
But she also said the government needed to crack down on the angkot , the ubiquitous minibuses that stop at random and take up entire lanes of already crowded roads while gathering passengers.
“We all know that angkots stop whenever and wherever the driver pleases,” she said.
“Therefore the government needs to enforce the transportation law seriously, because angkots are one of the reasons why Jakarta has such heavy traffic congestion.”
Fauzana Fidya Rizky, a local university student, said the burden should not rest solely on the authorities. She said it was also up to the community to ensure that public transportation facilities were properly maintained. “Although I drive, if the facilities were improved, I wouldn’t mind taking public transportation,” she said.
“Take the busway shelters, for instance. Some of them have been damaged by vandals who simply didn’t have a sense of social responsibility They don’t understand these facilities are for us, the citizens.”
She added that without a sense of ownership over public facilities, “people won’t care about helping the government maintain the facilities.”