Traffic jams, hustling and bustling roads, crazy drivers: no problem. You have the coolest and environmentally sound option to travel to your office, home and for shopping. Just leave your car or motorbike back home, get into the TransJakarta……….I am sure you will not regret it.
Bus transport in most of the world today is unpopular, often categorized as inconvenient, unreliable and inefficient mode of transportation. This adding to other major factors has highly inspired the world’s citizens to buy and rely on private cars and motorbikes for their daily mobility, leading to very unsustainable urban mobility. However the efforts like developing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system have shown a greater hope towards sustainable urban mobility and livable city.
Jakarta city is one of the most populous cities in the world. And air pollution is one of the major environmental problems in Jakarta City. Transportation is one the major causes of air pollution. According to research by JICA, air pollution from transport sector contributed 70% of the total air pollution in Jakarta in 1995 and other research by Ekuwasbang in 1997 estimated that motor vehicles constituted the highest fossil fuel consumption (49%) of all fuel use sectors. Also transportation sector contributes to around 23% of green house gas emissions. And a cleaner, smarter and sustainable form of transportation to carry millions of people everyday is required amidst of rapidly growing population, increasing mobility and demand of the people like in Jakarta.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Jakarta ‘TransJakarta’ is a very simple, convenient, fast, intelligent and environmentally sustainable mode of mass transportation which is playing a central role in attempting to transform Jakarta into a more livable city. The segregated and clear lanes, rapid boarding system, inexpensive fare, efficient pre-board fare collection mechanism, relatively cleaner, safer and comfortable stations and terminals, convenience and spacious arrangement in bus are the major key features that make you adore TransJakarta.
Opened in January 2004, TransJakarta provides a cleaner, safer and faster way for the Jakarta’s citizens to get through the crazy traffic congestion. According to ITDP, it served 15 millions passengers during its first year and rose to 82 million people in 2009 with the increment from 12.9 Km to 119 Km of corridors. And it is now one of the largest BRT systems in the world providing service to over 260,000 passengers per day. The other most significant thing is that over 25% of passenger switched from using their private motorized vehicles for some trips. The BRT system in Jakarta reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 37,000 metric tons in 2009, the equivalent of taking 6,800 cars off the road.
Having said that, number of people still prefer the normal bus rather and as does one of my friend who lives in Jakarta. I asked my friend why he prefers normal bus. He said it’s cheaper and easier (easier in the sense he can get in and get off from the bus wherever he wants unlike in TransJakarta). But he loves traveling in TransJakarta when the traffic is really crazy and when he is traveling a longer distance as it is faster and you can change the corridor without buying the next ticket.
I first traveled by TransJakarta on my second day to my office (2nd November). And it’s really cool and I find irresistible appreciating and getting into the bus. Now I often travel to my office either by TransJakarta or on foot. But walking to office from my apartment is not really convenient and preferable. Either absence or inadequate infrastructure for pedestrians, if there is, it is either occupied by street vendors or motorbikes and open sewer system makes less safer and preferable to walk to my apartment. However I often walk to my apartment in the evening.
Photos by: Prashanta Khanal