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The world's worst traffic: can Jakarta findan alternative to the car?


Attracted by the air-conditioning and thestatus, many of the 3.5 million people who commute into the hot and humidIndonesian capital come by car. With four hours in traffic not unusual, Jakartais searching for solutions


Motionless in macet ... (left to right)construction on Jakarta’s new metro; a dedicated bus lane; and gridlock.Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty


The average Jakartanspends 10 years of their life in traffic, wrote novelist Seno Gumira Ajidarma,and you don’t have to spend long in the Indonesian capital to believe it.

作家Seno Gumira Ajidarma表示,在印尼首都不用呆多长时间你就会知道,能有10年的生命浪费在雅加达路的路上。

Three and a half million people a daycommute into this hot and humid city from the wider metropolitan area ofGreater Jakarta and many come by car, attracted by the status and theair-conditioning. Their cars, though, are motionless in macet (gridlock) duringmost of the 5am to 8am and 5pm to 8pm rush hours, and for much of the day.


Jakarta was named the worldcity with the worst traffic in one index last year based on satellitenavigation data, which found the average driver starting and stopping more than33,000 times in a year. An estimated 70% of the city’s air pollution comes fromvehicles.


It typically takes two hours to drive 25miles to the centre from Bogor, the largest of the satellite cities, where manyoffice workers live. A bad journey can take three hours. As cars idle inendless queues, scooters slalom past, missing by inches. It seems there areoften more passengers on the bikes than in the cars.


Efforts to reduce car use are limited to anodd/even scheme on the main thoroughfare of Sudirmanand few other key routes during rush hour: vehicles with odd numbered platesare allowed on odd dates, with even plates on even dates. Odd/even came inafter a three-in-onecar-pooling rulewas scrapped in April after years of abuse. “Jockeys” would stand at the sideof the road, offering themselves for rent so the driver could get the requiredtwo passengers; many were children, who took huge risks getting into thevehicles of strangers.

在苏迪尔曼的主干道上或是在几条在高峰时段的核心道路,曾经对车辆采取单双号限行措施:既日期单号日子可以通行(车尾号为)单号的车辆,双日子通行尾号为双号的车辆。可这项“three-in-one car-pooling(注:翻译不能   )”规定,被多年的陋习折磨的,竟在(注:2016年)4月把单双号规定给取消了。马路‘骑士’就在道边等着(注:骑士,摩的,摩托出租),直到等来两个乘客、钱够赚才走。有不少孩子上车的时还毫不顾忌。

With the population of Greater Jakartaexpected to increase from about 30 million today to more than 40 million by2040 , wasting hours trapped in traffic looks set to become even more of adaily frustration for residents. Is Jakarta destined to be jammed forever, ordoes the city have an alternative?


A motorcycle taxi for smartphone app Go-Jekpicks up a customer. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images


Scooter city: ‘You can get anythingdelivered by bike here’


“Motorbikes are twice the speed of a car in Jakarta, they use a 10thof the fuel, are a 10th of the cost and use far less space,” says NadiemMakarim, founder and chiefexecutive of Go-Jek, the city’s two-wheeled version of Uber. “Motorbikes aremuch more efficient. There’s no reason for cars to exist in this city at all.”

“你在雅加达开摩托车的效率可以是汽车的两倍,它们用的是10号(柴)油,性价比高、还灵巧。”GO-JEK Uber摩托版创始人兼CEO Nadiem Makarim说道。“摩托相当方便,汽车在这个城市根本不管用”

Since Makarim’s company revolutionised themotorcycle taxi – or ojek – industry with the launch of a smartphone app lastyear, numbers have risen dramatically. Along with Malaysian rivalGrab, and Uber’s Motor service, they have driven down fares – to the angerof some drivers.

随着去年智能手机的兴起,Makarim的公司推出了摩的或Ojek(APP)打车软件,而且应用这种软件的人大幅攀升。由于马来西亚的Grab和 Uber摩的打车软件竞相降价竞争,还惹怒了不少了出租车司机。

The app has been downloaded 25 milliontimes. As well as getting around, customers can get a massage therapist or acleaner delivered to their door within 90 minutes. His food delivery businessis now Asia’s largest outside China, and the Go-Jek also offers makeovers, theatretickets, flowers, prescription medicines …


“It’s pretty hard to find something you can’t get by motorbikedelivery,” says Makarim. “You don’t need to wastetime in traffic to get what you want. We bring everything to you. If you didn’twant to you wouldn’t have to leave your apartment.”

Makarim 说道:“你很难找到送东西不骑摩托车的,还有你肯定不希望把等送来东西的时间浪费在交通上,什么东西我们都能给你送到。如果你不想(亲自)动手去取,你就无需离开家”

Some in the city, though, are concerned therise of motorbike taxi apps could tempt people away from buses and trains.“Motorcycle taxis kill public transport,” says Yoga Adiwinarto,country director of ITDP-Indonesia, the local branchof the non-profit Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

然而,在某些城市中人们开始担心,如果摩的打车软件流行起来人们就会远离公交和火车。西亚国家交通与发展政策,非营利运输发展政策地方研究所,Yoga Adiwinarto表示“摩的淘汰了公交系统。”

Makarim doesn’t see it that way. “Our customers are smartphone users,” he says.“They are middle class people switching from private cars. They wouldn’t havetravelled on buses anyway.”


A commuter train in East Jakarta in 2012. Arecent crackdown means excess passengers no longer ride on the roof, or hangout of the doors, but inside the carriages the rush hour crush is as bad asever. Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

2012年雅加达东部的通勤列车。最近的一次专门针对一些车厢外挂客进行治理,但在交通高峰时段,车厢内外和以往一样糟。摄影:Ulet Ifansasti

The largest south-east Asian city without ametro


Regional rivals Manila (1984), Singapore(1987), Kuala Lumpur (1995) and Bangkok (2004), all got there first. But fourdecades after it was first mooted, construction has at last begun on Jakarta’s$1.7bn (£1.4bn) metro line, known as Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).


Difficulties acquiring land rights in thesouth of the city have delayed the overground section of the project but,when the first stage opens in 2019, it is set to halve the hour it takes totravel 12 miles from Lebak Bulus to BunderanHotel Indonesia in the centre by car.

城市南部土地开发较为困难,土地征收延迟阻碍了地上项目的开发。2019年为开发的第一阶段,驱车从Lebak Bulus到市中心的Bunderan印尼酒店,12里的路程仅需一小时。

A northern extension to Kampung Bandan near the waterfront is set to open in 2020. A second line runningeast-west, where many journeys are made, is under consideration.

从北部延伸至海湾边的Kampung Bandan路线将于2020年开建。第二条横贯东西附近有不少旅游地的路线,目前正在酝酿中。

A long-awaited link from the airport is setto start operating next year and the first phase of a light rail system is dueto open in 2018, in time for the Asian Games. The new network should boost railcapacity from 800,000 to 1.2 million passengers a day.


Jakarta’s ageing Commuter Line trains makethe journey from Bogor to the city centre in 55 minutes – twice as fast as thecar. Excess passengers no longer ride on the roof or hang out of the doorsafter a recent crackdown, but inside the carriages the rush hour crush is asbad as ever.


The metro, light rail, airport link – and aplanned bullet train from Bandung 100 miles to the east – will centre on a newhub at Dukuh Atas. The inevitable swanky shopping mall is beingplanned.


But is there a faster way to transformpublic transport in the city? Yoga says Jakarta’s Bus RapidTransit (BRT) system, which the ITDP helped promote and design, took just twoyears to set up and the bill to the city was a fraction of the cost of themetro.


Passengers on a bus in Jakarta. Photograph:Beawiharta/Reuters (注:图中车上的标牌指的是,女士专区…)

Bus Rapid Transit: ‘It’s quicker than carsfor sure’


Twelve years ago Jakarta became the firstsouth-east Asian city to open a BRT, inspired by visits from former Bogotámayor Enrique Peñalosa.


The 120-mile Transjakarta network givesgood coverage, within the city at least, and carries 350,000 people a day.Buses are air conditioned, with a separate section for women at the front, and10 pink women-only buses have recently started operation.


“Within Jakarta itself the BRT is quite good,” says Yoga. “It’squicker than cars for sure – and sometimes it’s quicker than motorcycle – butonly within the city of Jakarta.”


Commuters trying to get to and from theouter cities of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi find the dedicated lanesstop as soon as they leave the city limits. A rush-hour BRT from Bogor to thecentre takes two or three hours, and in Jakarta itself police officers turn ablind eye to cars and motorbikes using bus lanes when gridlock strikes.


Better links to the wider Great Jakartaarea are vital to get more people on BRT, says Yoga. “Getting links to theouter city is problematic, with businesses pushing back and the governmentlacking political will. The city government is much more progressive in termsof mobility – they’re bringing in MRT, pushing public transport, charging forparking – but the national government never takes any action.”


Jakarta’s weekly car-free mornings are hugelypopular. Photograph: Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images


Cycling: ‘Cars are usually stopped sothey’re ok’


Every Sunday morning thousands of peopletake to the main drags of Sudirman and Thamrin totake advantage of Jakarta’s car-free day.


Spotting cyclists on other days is harder. One is Gandrie Ramadhan, whorides 10 miles a day to work as a transport associate at the ITDP.He uses smaller side streets where he can but says major roads are unavoidable.

其他时间再这么骑自行车就尴尬了,有位在ITDT(运输发展策略协会)任职,名叫Gandrie Ramadhan的人,每天要骑16公里的车上班。他有时专走小路,因为大路很堵。

He takes me on a cycle around the expensiveembassy district of Menteng, where light traffic and shady tree-lined streetsmake for a pleasant ride, but as soon as we get on the main thoroughfare ofSudirman it quickly gets more serious. Worst are the unpredictable, batteredgreen Kopaja and orange/blue MetroMini buses which belch blacksmoke from poorly maintained diesel engines.


“Cars are usually stopped so they’re ok but it is motorbikes whichmake it most dangerous,” says Gandrie. “Cycling has low status, and because weare seen as slow, the motorbikes always want to overtake us and get to thefront. The Kopaja and MetroMinis are the worst, though. They make it horrible.”


Jakarta’s existing three cycle lanes arepainted a foot or two wide – and ignored by motorists. Gandrie believesinstalling protected bike infrastructure is the only way to get more peoplecycling in the city. “And more offices with showers,” he adds.


Can Jakarta escape its nightmare traffic?


Instead of providing showers, mostcompanies are more concerned with subsidising parking for their employees, saysYoga. Meanwhile, the government has approved plans for six new elevated tollhighways crisscrossing the centre of the city, and its Low Cost Green Carinitiative encourages car use by offering zero deposit and low interest onsmall-engined vehicles.
“Jakarta’s moving in the right direction but it’s not enough,” Yogasays. “The government is allowing low-density development outside the city, andthe wider metro area is spreading. That makes it difficult for public transportbecause there isn’t the coverage. We need high density development where yourfirst option is walking or cycling, and for longer journeys you can use the busor metro.”


That may seem a long way from the currentreality in Jakarta, but the government has a target to increase the share oftrips on public transport from 23% to 60% by 2030 – and there is an incentive.As Yoga says: “Four hours every day wasted in a car is really not thatpleasant.”


What are your experiences of transport inJakarta and what do you think would make it better? Share your ideas, thoughts,stories and pictures here. You can also contribute on Twitter and Instagramusing the hashtag #GuardianJakarta