Jakarta. Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga Uno said on Wednesday (06/12) he wants to make it "painful" for Jakarta residents to bring their own vehicles into the city once the first phase of the city's new Mass Rapid Transit system begins in March 2019.
"We want to make it 'painful' [for users of private vehicles]. There will be enough disincentives to drive your own cars or ride motorcycles. We want to force people to use public transportation," Sandiaga told reporters at a Bloomberg forum in Jakarta.
Jakarta, a city of more than 10 million people, is notorious for its traffic gridlocks — caused by an ever-increasing number of private vehicles and long delays in road and public transportation infrastructure projects.
According to Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data, the number of four-wheeled vehicles in Jakarta grew by 6.48 percent on average from 2012 to 2016. The corresponding figure for two-wheeled vehicles is 5.3 percent.
Last year, more than 13 million motorcycles and 3 million cars were on Jakarta's streets, a huge strain on the city's logistics and severely weakening economic activity in the capital.
According to National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) data, gridlocks in Greater Jakarta result in Rp 100 trillion ($7.4 billion) of economic losses each year.
Sandi said the Jakarta administration will impose higher vehicle tax to persuade people to use public transport. It will also issue new regulations for transit-oriented development (TOD).
Sandi believes the city's horrific traffic can also be reduced by implementing the long-planned electronic road pricing (ERP) by March 2019 when MRT service commences.
"We don't know yet how much we will charge for the ERP. The government tender to choose an ERP vendor is still ongoing," Sandiaga said.
The ERP system is expected to reduce the city's traffic woes by forcing drivers to pay considerable fees if they want to pass through certain streets or areas in the capital.
It will be implemented at first in several major thoroughfares in the city, including Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Jalan Sudirman and Jalan M.H. Thamrin — all in Central Jakarta.