Thursday, March 15, 2007
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Governor Sutiyoso on Monday said Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) would replace the three-in-one policy, which has been deemed an ineffective means of controlling the traffic.
"So far, with the three-in-one policy, we have raised more problems than money. What's more, motorists flaunt the law," he told reporters at City Hall.
The policy requires motorists passing major streets during peak hours to have two passengers. However, they can always find a shortcut and hire "jockeys" or people they pick up on the roadside for a small fee.
"If the three-in-one policy is ineffective, why shouldn't we replace it with something else?" Sutiyoso said.
He said the government was in the process of studying the ERP system.
"If it were up to me, I'd bring it in immediately," said the governor, implying he would take heed of public opinion and the results of the research.
Sutiyoso said the revenue generated from the ERP would be used to subsidize public transportation so the fares would be lower.
The governor has been defending the three-in-one policy, which was brought in 1992, since he took up his post in 1997.
City transportation agency head Nurahman said the agency was working on the engineering design for the ERP.
"We are also studying the technical aspects to identify the most suitable system for Jakarta. But we are likely to go with the Singaporean system, which uses a pre-paid smart card, because it is much cheaper to operate compared to the systems in London or Hong Kong, and fits with conditions here.
"The study will be finished in a year, so hopefully by the end of the year we'll be able to start building the ERP infrastructure and the trial of the system will start in 2008," Nurahman said.
He said the trial charge zone would be the roads between Blok M, South Jakarta, and Kota, North Jakarta, on which the busway operates.
The ERP system, which is used in a number of countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, England, Germany, Austria and Belgium, requires car owners to purchase an electronic ticket to drive on main thoroughfares in the city during peak hours.
The transportation agency will work together with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and other related stakeholders to develop the system.
Data from ITDP shows that the number of vehicles in Jakarta grows by 11 percent per year. There are more than five million private cars in the city.(02)