'MRT gives car owners alternatives'

The Jakarta administration is building a mass rapid transit system in response to the city's debilitating traffic conditions. The busway is seen as a temporary measure, to see the city through until the MRT is functioning.The Jakarta Post asked people about the issue.

Tom Anggara, 42, is the director of a travel agency in Harmoni, Central Jakarta. He lives in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta:

It is time for Jakarta to have an MRT, to stop private vehicle ownership from getting out of control.

I am confident the presence of an MRT system would help reduce traffic congestion in Jakarta as people would have more options.
Look at the encouraging response to the busway, which is the only public transportation means offering safe, comfortable and fast service.

In term of its transportation system, Jakarta has left Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore far behind.
However, the government needs to carry out a thorough environmental impact analysis of the MRT project.
The development of busway corridors has caused traffic jams in several areas that were not previously affected.
I hope the MRT does not add to the city's traffic problems.

Rimson Gultom, 40, works for an insurance company in Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta. He lives with his family in Kampung Rambutan, East Jakarta:

The MRT system is the only way to improve Jakarta's transportation situation. But it must not only link areas in Jakarta. It must tie into the systems of supporting cities like Bekasi, Depok and Tangerang, because thousands of cars enter Jakarta every day from those areas.

If there was comfortable public transportation, many people would be happy to leave their cars at home. Another important thing to think about is the MRT's market. It should be targeting people on reasonable salaries.

I have ridden a motorcycle to work for more than eight years. I can manage my time because traffic jams are not a big issue for me. Many people do the same thing to avoid spending hours on the road.

-- The Jakarta Post

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