Lenny Tristia Tambun
Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama stood behind Jakarta’s parking fee hike on Monday after public criticism prompted then governor-elect Joko Widodo to promise to look into the costs nearly four months ago.
Parking fees at the capital’s off-street parking lots increased 50 percent under a price hike implemented in early October. Joko, responding to complaints from motorists, promised to look into the reason behind the increase.
Malls like Pacific Place, Grand Indonesia and Senayan City now charge Rp 4,000 per hour for parking.
Basuki said charging between Rp 3,000 and Rp 5,000 for the first hour of parking was within the guidelines of the new regulation. He doubted the price hike impacted the number of visitors to Jakarta’s malls.
“There is no problem with the price hike on the number of visitors,” he said. “If this policy works, people will instead choose to use public transportation, which will help lessen traffic congestion.”
The Jakarta Transportation Committee said that higher fees could be used to fund improvements to the capital’s transportation system.
“The Jakarta government has started to improve the public transportation [system],” committee head Azas Tigor Nainggolan said. “If vehicle owners don’t want to pay expensive parking fees, then they shouldn’t drive private vehicles.”
Noviyanti, a car owner, said she still preferred her car to public transportation after some bad experiences on the city’s buses. She told Beritasatu.com that she didn’t mind paying more for parking if it helped improve Jakarta’s public transport system.
The Jakarta administration plans to purchase an additional 1,000 public buses and 450 TransJakarta buses in the coming year.