Group urges Jakarta election debate to talk about public transportation

Motorists pass along Jl. Kyai Haji Abdullah Syafei in Jakarta on June 19, 2024. - Photo: Antara

JAKARTA: The issue of transportation should be one of the themes covered during a debate between candidates ahead of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, a transportation experts association has urged.

The Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) Jakarta branch submitted a letter to the Jakarta office of the General Elections Commission (KPU) on June 6, asking the poll body to include the topic in the election debate.

Jakarta will need a regional head who is committed to improving the city’s transportation in general and revitalising public transportation, the association argued.

“The public is getting smarter. People can criticise candidates’ promises and programmes.

"At least the candidates’ statements during the debate can be held as a political commitment in the transportation sector,” MTI Jakarta chair Yusa Cahya Permana said on June 14, as quoted by

Jakarta KPU chair Wahyu Dinata said his office had received the request and would follow it up ahead of the debate, including by inviting the MTI for further discussion.

The poll body has not set the schedules for the Jakarta gubernatorial election debates.

Jakarta is notorious for its traffic congestion, with most people spending an average of 23 minutes and 20 seconds to travel 10km, according to the TomTom Traffic Index for 2023.

Last year’s index also suggested that Jakartans spend longer on the road compared with the residents of Bangkok, New Delhi or Kuala Lumpur.

Authorities have attempted to resolve the congestion by building and operating several mass transit services, such as the Transjakarta bus service, light rail service the Greater Jakarta LRT and the Jakarta MRT.

But the services are not sufficient to move people in and around Jakarta, with only 11 percent of total human movements in the city being made using public transit, according to 2019 data from the Jakarta administration.

The low usage of public transit will be a challenge for the next elected Jakarta governor who will need to create more affordable and efficient public transportation.

Jakarta is among the regions holding simultaneous regional head elections on Nov 27 along with 36 other provinces and more than 500 regencies and cities across the country. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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