From home to busway to final destination

Controversial busway system

According to a recent survey, a mere 6 percent of car users have switched to Jakarta's much-touted busway system.
However, a quarter or more of road traffic capacity in the affected areas had to be sacrificed for the construction of exclusive busway lanes. By most accounts, road congestions has only worsened.

The attempt to convert car users to busway passengers obviously failed to take into account the problem of traveling logistics from home garage to final destination and the need for parking facilities at the various busway stations.

It was the difficulty in getting from home to busway and from busway to final destination that convinced most car users that being stuck in traffic was the lesser of two evils.

Untold amounts have been spent over the years on traffic studies. Instead of proceeding with a costly and unproven busway system, other alternatives should have been considered first.

Since a vast majority of busway passengers consists of non-car users anyway, a less costly first step would have been a complete overhaul of Jakarta's dysfunctional and chaotic public transport system.

Faced with fixed, low passenger fares, public transport operators can not be expected to renew or replace their antiquated systems without incurring serious financial losses.

However, if proper financial incentives were given -- such as breaks on VAT and customs duties for non-polluting buses and adjustment of vehicle tax and registration fees -- some of the patched-up old clunkers could be forced off the road.

The reintroduction of double-decker buses of yore (cutting available road mileage per passenger in half), combined with adequate bus-stops and better traffic discipline, would have gone a long way toward easing congestion.

There are no easy solutions for Jakarta's worsening traffic problems. As things stand, the busway system has yet to prove itself. - Jakarta Post

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