Solving Traffic Problems in Jakarta
One of the serious problems faced by the local government of Jakarta is the heavy traffic. The local government has made great efforts to overcome it, however, none of them has not succeeded yet. The causes are so various that the local government seems to be confused where to start. In this essay, I am not talking about the causes of the traffic jams, but rather I am discussing the way how to solve them. In my opinion there are at least three ways of overcoming the problems and two of them have been initiated. They are the use of special buses called Trans-Jakarta, monorail trains and the operation of odd and even-license-number vehicles.
The use of comfortable and safe Trans-Jakarta buses is one of the solutions which has been applied by Governor Sutiyoso, however, it seems that they have yet no effects to the congested traffic thus far. To make it effective, I would suggest that a spacious and safe parking lot be built at each corridor of the Trans-Jakarta. This will encourage the private car drivers to park their cars at the closest parking lot to their homes and take a trans-Jakarta bus to work or to their destination. By this I am definite that the number of private cars on the thoroughfares around Jakarta will significantly decrease and the traffic will be pretty much lighter.
The use of monorail trains, although it is quite costly, is another way of solving the problem. Apart from being expensive to build, monorail trains are the most effective way to overcome the traffic jams in Jakarta for some reasons. They are off the ground so that they do not need any space. They are fast and they must be much faster than the vehicles running on the road that most tie-wearing drivers prefer to travel downtown by a monorail train. They are also the safest means of transport because there are not so many and they are well planned and well operated. The evidence has been shown by the government of Thailand in Bangkok where the traffic there now is much lighter than it was years ago when there were not yet monorail trains.
Another solution is to apply odd and even license number of vehicles which can be operated on different days. For example, the vehicles with odd number plates can only be operated on Monday, Wednesday and Friday whereas the ones with even number plates are only to be driven on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Sundays, as most people of Jakarta are away, all vehicles can be operated. By this system, the number of vehicles operated on a certain day will be half of the number of vehicles registered in Jakarta. If this system can be applied accordingly I guarantee that the traffic congestions could be diminished dramatically.
By the application of the above mentioned systems, in my opinion the local government can sort the problem temporarily while planning another long-term solution which could meet the needs and aspiration of all parties. It is not for sure easy to satisfy all people with different needs and interest particularly in Indonesia whose people are still learning how solve a problem democratically.
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